Sixth Graders Replicate Iconic Mid-Century Architecture of the Desert

News Staff

Palm Springs, CA

Thousands of people are touring the mid-century architecture of the desert for Modernism Week, and a talented group of sixth graders are bringing all of iconic buildings into one classroom. 

Julia Fidel does not know much of Elvis Presley’s music, but she sure loves his Honeymoon House.

"When I looked at this model, at first my dad was staring at me and said, why did you choose one of the hardest models ever," Fidel said. "And I told my dad, well I want it to be unique, it’s going to be awesome, trust me."

Fidel and her classmates at St. Theresa School in Palm Springs were assigned to replicate an iconic mid-century building from the valley last October.

And while Fidel build Elvis’s place, Sophia Martinez replicated some of the offices of the Palm Springs Unified School District.     

"We went out and measure the building," Martinez said. "It was kind of weird to see people’s reaction driving by and seeing two people measuring the building."

Other iconic buildings on display were the Chase Bank structure in downtown, the Palm Springs City Hall and the airport. 

Robert Imber is the co-chair for the education committee of the Modern Committee, he said he is blown away by the creativity of the students, "They are creating these extraordinary things and it is truly heartwarming and overwhelming."

But perhaps not extraordinary enough for them to become architects. Fidel said she is thinking of becoming a doctor or an author, but she does have a soft spot now for making models.  

Fidel said, "I had a lot of fun doing this, maybe if I get a chance I might do it again in the future, I don’t know."

The students will show their models once again on the Thursday bill of Modernism Week. 

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