Mid-Century Modern is a term to describe a design movement in architecture, interior design, furnishing and products that were developed in the mid-20th century, roughly post War through the late-1960's. There is no definitive definition of 'Mid-Century Modern' and the term is often used loosely. Perhaps a reaction to the tragedy of the early century, and a new found optimism in America, Mid-Century Modern design in California tended to fun and organic, with clean lines, light in feel, using bold colors and patterns and had an element of celebrating mass-production.
Mid-Century architects in California were creating structures that did not look, and more importantly did not feel like traditional homes. Using post and beam construction and doing away with bulky walls and replacing them with windows, they really developed the concept of open floor plans that is so coveted in today's architecture. Also the building codes of the time were not so concerned with energy efficiency, allowing for construction that allowed the lines between indoor and outdoor to be blurred. In Palm Springs, architects were adding some unique elements such a decorative cinderblock construction, architectural elements that provide shade, as well as ample use of windows that allowed the desert beauty to seamlessly blend into the interior of the home.
Some of the most respected architects of the period were active in Palm Springs, including William Cody, Albert Frey, William Krisel, Donald Wexler and E. Stewart Williams. Krisel designed Canyon View Estates and also designed other structures in the surrounding neighborhoods including many of the homes in Twin Palms, the Ocotillo Lodge and Kings Point, to name just a few.
Every February, one of Palm Springs biggest annual events is Palm Springs Modernism Week. For more information visit modernismweek.com.
The Palm Springs Modern Committee is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to maintaining the heritage of modern architecture and historic neighborhoods in Palm Springs and the entire Coachella Valley. For more information visit psmodcom.org.