Palm Springs’ Modernism Week kicked into full gear Thursday morning with the first of 350 scheduled events aimed at celebrating midcentury design and architecture.
Modernism Week is an annual celebration now in its 15th year that includes tours, films, lectures and exhibitions through Feb. 23.
Daily tours began Thursday of a house designed by renowned Swiss-born architect Albert Frey, built in 1955. The 1,300-square-foot Cree House sits perched on a rocky hillside between Palm Springs and Cathedral City. The original kitchen appliances and countertops, bathroom fixtures, tile work and windows remain intact, according to organizers. Tours meet daily at Porsche Palm Springs, 3737 E. Palm Canyon.
Another of Frey’s designs, Frey House II, is also being shown from Thursday until Feb. 20. A shuttle van will transport ticket holders from the Palm Springs Art Museum.
Sixteen events are planned for Thursday, culminating in an opening- night space-themed party at the Palm Springs Air Museum at 7 p.m. The $175-a- head soiree will be set to the music of David Bowie, featuring tribute performer David Brighton and his concert experience, “Space Oddity.” A space bar will include intergalatic-themed cocktails.
The central meeting point for Modernism Week is CAMP, at 575 N. Palm Canyon Drive and is free to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The space includes charging stations, an information desk, box office, cafe, merchandise store and interactive booths. It will also act as a concourse for Double Decker Architectural Bus Tours, said organizers.
New this year, Modernism Week worked with Coachella Art to feature interactive mural panels created by students aged 8 to 13. The panels are designed to be moved around by CAMP participants to make new artistic designs in the space, according to organizers.
Popular artist Paul Frank is also in town for the weekend. He will lead a mid-century clock making class on Saturday for a sold out class. Frank says his own personal brand and style is based on modernism which he first fell in love with as a child.
Parking near CAMP is limited. Organizers encourage participants to park in the free downtown parking garage, south of CAMP, on Palm Canyon Drive under the Hyatt hotel.
Appreciation of midcentury design is not the only goal of Modernism Week, it also raises scholarship money for local students pursuing higher education in the fields of architecture and design. The organization also supports state and local groups in their pursuit to preserve modernist architecture throughout California.
Tickets and a full schedule of events can be found at http://www.modernismweek.com.