We had never been to Palm Springs before last week, but the vision I'd had was of Palm Springs in the 50's and 60's with the starlets lounging around in caftans while handsome actors poured another stiff drink at the bar. Well there were mostly a lot of retiree's and while there were (lots of) stiff drinks being poured, it wasn't until we went on The Modern Tour that we felt the magic of old Palm Springs. The Modern Tour is an architecture tour led by Michael Stern, an author and producer whose love and knowledge of modern architecture in Palm Springs seems unparalleled. The outing was the spendiest activity we did while on vacation ($150 a person) but even after the tour, we bought his book! It was definitely my favorite part of our honeymoon.
The five of us (Michael, us, and another charming couple from Charleston) drove around Palm Springs while Michael would pull over and talk about some of the famous homes, neighborhoods by famous architects, and history of the area. We drove by Marilyn Monroe's house - though William Holden's was more visible and gorgeous. We also got to get out and walk around the grounds of the Horizon Hotel (and check out some of the cool rooms) as well as two homes. The last home we toured was AMAZING and decorated impeccably by the homeowner - I could have moved right in and curled up under the Hermes blanket.
Here are my photos (the only time I pulled out my big camera!)
At the Horizon Hotel...
A Wexler steel house:
That drop down would normally be a pool...
A house built for the couple that commissioned Fallingwater (signs for armed guards made this the closest we could get!)
And the next onslaught of photos is from my favorite house. See how you can see right through to the backyard and pool?
(my photography and editing skills are lacking, but I loved how this view from the office had the beautiful decor and a straight shot out to the green hedge, blue pool and bright white chairs).
This shot below best illustrates the clerestory windows above the window walls - see how the beam seems to float? Gorgeous. This is from the living room looking back toward the entry.
We highly HIGHLY recommend taking The Modern Tour if you visit Palm Springs. It was fantastic, and really made us appreciate the unique city we were in.
P.S. I know this seemed a little overly-glowing, but Michael/The Modern Tour has NO idea that I'm writing this. Nothing paid or perked here, just a happy participant.