Remember “back in the day” when you’d spend hours staring at 3D pictures of your favourite national parks or stories from your favourite movie franchises? Sure, you might have the latest VR headset these days, but that’s not nearly as much fun or retro-cool! Throw it back with reels of the work of your favourite Palm Springs Modern architects with View•Modernism.

We’ve launched a series of fun, collectible reels featuring all-new 3D photography of the works of classic Midcentury Modern architects…which you can either view with our viewers or give yourself a good excuse to raid the attic and blow the dust off your classic View-Master® viewer.

View Modernism Reels

The first reels and viewers launched at Palm Springs Modernism Preview Week in October 2019. Did you miss Preview Week? Order yours online from Destination PSP, or visit the Destination PSP store (or pop-ups) in Palm Springs, or come to Modernism Week in February!

The reels

1: Hugh Kaptur

The architecture of Hugh Kaptur (1931-) is often described as “organic Desert Modern”, mixing modern design sensibility with an architectonic awareness reminiscent of Arizona pueblo-style vernacular and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. This reel features a number of Kaptur’s residential and commercial projects, including several well-loved houses in the Ranch Club Estates area of Palm Springs.

Hugh Kaptur on USModernist

2: William Krisel

William Krisel (1924-2017) is one of Palm Springs’ most prolific residential architects, largely thanks to his work (along with partner Dan Palmer) for the Alexander Company, designing at least 2,500 of the Alexanders’ now-treasured Modernist tract homes. This reel features several of Krisel’s iconic designs, including classic Krisel rooflines found on houses in Twin Palms and Vista las Palmas.

William Krisel on USModernist

3: Donald Wexler

For over 60 years, architect Donald Wexler (1926-2015) made his mark on Palm Springs with a mix of houses, schools, and commercial buildings. If you fly into PSP, take a long look back at the airport as you drive off to downtown: that’s the original part of PSP and a Wexler design. Wexler (and partner Richard Harrison) was also responsible for designing the neighbourhood of innovative (and now heritage-registered) Steel Development Houses in north Palm Springs.

Donald Wexler on USModernist

4: E. Stewart Williams

Beginning with a house design for Frank Sinatra, architect Emerson Stewart Williams (1909-2005) designed a plethora of notable houses and commercial buildings in Palm Springs and the greater Coachella Valley. Williams’ commercial architecture can be found all up and down Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, and this reel features many of E. Stewart Williams’ most accessible projects.

E. Stewart Williams on USModernist

5: The Alexanders

Between 1955 and 1965, the Alexander Construction Company was responsible for doubling the size of Palm Springs’ housing stock and nearly singlehandedly building out several Palm Springs’ residential neighbourhoods including Green Fairway Estates, Racquet Club, Twin Palms, and Sunmor. This reel looks at a few of the many Alexander designs including Charles duBois’ “Swiss Miss” houses that survive and have been lovingly renovated around Palm Springs.

Buy PSPF’s Alexanders book

6: Concrete Screen Block

First produced in the early 1950’s, perhaps no other single building material exemplifies Midcentury Modernism than concrete screen block (also known as ‘breeze block’). Clever, inexpensive, available in a plethora of patterns, and…now considered fashionable, concrete screen block adorns facades all over Palm Springs. This reel looks at a number of clever and, dare we say it, beautiful examples of the use of concrete screen block.

Buy PSHS’s Concrete Screen Block book

7: Illuminated Modernism

Capture the night! During Modernism Week, a large number of Palm Springs commercial buildings come alive overnight in a week-long festival called Illuminated Modernism. Featuring whimsical lighting designs and often featuring the names and dates of buildings and architects blasted onto the buildings in coloured light, Illuminated Modernism is both a feast for the eyes and a great way to become familiar with some of the midcentury modern commercial buildings you’d usually drive right by on the way to and from your next martini party.

Got a house? let’s make a reel.

Think your Palm Springs midcentury house would make a great reel? Chances are, we do too! Let’s talk. We’re planning to make a few trips down to Palm Springs over the course of 2019 and 2020. Perhaps a reel of your house could be for sale at Modernism Week next year…or could be the next piece of marketing for your design/architecture firm or vacation rental!