Modernism Week 2020 Love Fest

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The 15th annual Modernism Week love fest to mid-century architecture, design, aficionados and lifestyles has concluded under the sunny desert skies of Palm Springs, California.

We had a great time visiting and photographing a spectrum of mid-century masterpieces – from homes and commercial architecture to vintage travel trailers, including a few photographs we’ve shared here over the past week or so.

We leave it with this photograph of the popular Modernism Week tour bus photo-bombing us while making a stop at Palm Springs City Hall.

Hope to see you next year!

 

 

 

Albert Frey’s Cree House

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What a treat to photograph Albert Frey’s 1955 Palm Springs desert modern masterpiece, the Cree House.

The home has been quietly held in the possession of a local family since the 1970s. The family recently completed a meticulous restoration of the home to evoke its original 1955 design.

Integrated into the hillside, the home features a large balcony with it’s commanding view overlooking nearly the entire Coachella Valley. The bright yellow corrugated fiberglass panel railings are original to the home.

Of particular interest to me is the kitchen, which features the unique and completely original restored refrigerator above the back counter top as shown in the photograph below.

 

 

Last Stop for Gas: Palm Springs

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It’s exactly 111 miles from Paramount Studios in Los Angeles to the racquet club in downtown Palm Springs. For gas-thirsty cars of the 1960s, this classic Albert Frey-designed Enco gas station, with it’s cantilever roof built in 1965, was a welcome sight for movie stars arriving to the city for a secret getaway from Hollywood.

Highway 111 was as busy as ever when we made this photo, while the building lives on as the Palm Springs Visitor Center.

A must stop when visiting Palm Springs for lovers of interesting architecture.

#palmsprings #vintage #gasstation #cars #servicestation #midcentury #modernismweek2020

Architect Juan Miró – the talent behind the COTA Observation Tower

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Architect Juan Miró is the talent behind the design of the Observation Tower at the Circuit of the Americas motorsports, recreation and entertainment complex in Austin.

Miró Rivera Architects’ website describes the 251 foot tall Observation Tower structure as a “continuously-welded double-helix stair wrapped in a filigree-like diagrid.”

Each stair run serves as a helical diaphragm that transfers loads to a layered perimeter of vertical and diagonal HSS tubes. The 8” diameter tubes serve as an “outrigger column for lateral load resistance via a series of struts and rods that tie back to the primary structure.”

Accessed via two helical stairs and a high-speed elevator, the viewing deck sits at 230 feet above ground, offering a sweeping panorama of the entire track, as well as downtown Austin. A portion of the floor is structural laminated glass, allowing visitors to look straight down.

These are a few of the many photographs I’ve taken of the tower over the years.

 

La Concha Motel

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Designed by one of my favorite architects, Paul Williams, the La Concha Motel opened on Las Vegas Blvd in 1961 with this memorable googie-style neon sign beckoning in travelers.

Originally located at 2955 S Las Vegas Blvd, the motel closed in 2004, and was saved from demolition and oblivion when The Neon Museum relocated the lobby and the iconic neon sign to it’s new location five miles away.

What happens here only happens here. #LasVegas

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Las Vegas announced a new advertising slogan, “What happens here only happens here.”

It reminded me of my last visit to the gritty downtown Las Vegas in 2017, when I made this photograph.  It’s hard to imagine finding this scene anywhere else on the planet. The new ad slogan works.