More Mid-Century Modernism from Palm Springs

Palm Springs City Hall - close up
As I mentioned in my previous post on Palm Springs, there were four major architectural firms in the city during the mid-century period. They were all able to survive–and thrive–by accepting all types of commissions. These architects did not just do high-end homes for the likes of Frank Sinatra; they also designed the more mundane buildings a growing area needs: gas stations, schools, churches, government buildings and retail stores. Here are some shots of these buildings that you will find throughout the desert modern oasis. I’ll start with City Hall, which was designed by Albert Frey, John Porter Clark, Robson Chambers and E. Stewart Williams.

Palm Springs City Hall

I like the various techniques they used to block the sun, including extended eaves and metal cylinders.

Palm Springs City Hall - Eaves

Palm Springs City Hall - sun blockers

Here are some more government buildings.

Palm Springs Fire Station No. 1, 1957

Palm Springs Fire Station No. 1 by Albert Frey, 1957.

Palm Springs Fire Station No. 1, 1957

County of Riverside Branch Administrative Center

County of Riverside Branch Administrative Center. I have not been able t0 find the architect of this building. I love the lines on this one.

County of Riverside Branch Administrative Center

County of Riverside Branch Administrative Center

County of Riverside Branch Administrative Center -corner detail

A corner detail of the County of Riverside Branch Administrative Center.

Riverside County Courthouse

County courthouse by E. Stewart Williams and John Porter Clark, 1962.

Here are a few banks. I would not mind going to the bank everyday with these designs.

Coachella Valley Savings and Loan #2, 1956

Coachella Valley Savings and Loan #2 by E. Stewart Williams,1956.

Lobby of Coachella Valley Savings and Loan #2, 1956

Lobby of Coachella Valley Savings and Loan #2.

Coachella Valley Savings and Loan, 1961

Coachella Valley Savings and Loan #3 by E. Stewart Williams, 1961.

Coachella Valley Savings and Loan.

Ode to Julius Shulman. Coachella Valley Savings and Loan at night in black and white.

The Palm Springs Art Museum just announced that it has purchased the Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan building to house architectural exhibits and design programs.

Santa Fe Savings and Loan. 1957.

Santa Fe Savings and Loan by E. Stewart Williams, 1957.

Here’s the original City National Bank (1959) by Rudy Baumfeld of Victor Gruen & Associates. The bank pays homage to Le Corbusier’s chapel in Ronchamp, France.

City National Banks Sign

City National Banks sign.

City National Bank, 1959.

City National Bank, 1959.

City National Bank, 1959.

Entrance of the former City National Bank.

Here are a few churches.

Church of Christ, Palm Springs.

Church of Christ.

Church in Palm Springs

St. Theresa Catholic Church

St. Theresa Catholic Church by William Cody, 1968. Sonny Bono's funeral was held here.

Here a few commercial buildings beyond the banks highlighted above.

Tramway Gas Station

Originally the Trammway Gas Station by Frey and Chambers, 1965. Now the Palm Springs Visitor Center.

Palm Springs Art Museum

Palm Springs Art Museum by E. Stewart Williams, 1976.

King's Highway Diner, Palm Springs.

King's Highway Diner at the Ace Hotel. It is a former Denny's.

Horizon Hotel

Horizon Hotel. Originally L'Horizon by William Cody, 1952.

Octillo Lodge

Octillo Lodge by William Krisel, 1956. Developed by George and Robert Alexander.

Rackstrom-Reid Building

Rackstrom-Reid Building by Howard Lapham, 1961.

Rackstrom-Reid Buidling

I love the stone and number sign.

Rackstrom-Reid Buidling

Much needed brise soliel (sun shades) of the Rackstrom-Reid Building.

Oasis Office Building

Oasis Office Building by E. Stewart Williams, 1952.

Robinson's Department Store, Palm Springs

Originally the Robinson's Department Store by Pereira and Luckman, 1958.

Gas Company Building, Palm Springs.

Gas Company Building by Richard Ricciardi, 1969.

And to end this post, some dessert from the desert: Sherman’s Deli and Bakery.

Sherman's Deli and Bakery.

Sherman's Deli and Bakery.

Next post on Palm Springs will focus on the architecture of Don Wexler.

 

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July 24th, 2011

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Mid-Century Mike

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5 to “More Mid-Century Modernism from Palm Springs”


  1. paul kaplan says:

    Thanks for the great post on Palm Springs and sharing the info on your blog.
    Look forward to your next post.

    Paul

  2. Thanks Paul. Love looking on your site. Need to buy a place there some day.

  3. Tom says:

    Another great post on PS! Thank you, Michael.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the Santa Fe S&L and Rackstrom-Reid buildings!! The aluminum louvered panels are beyond fabulous. I take photos of these each time I go to Palm Springs. (We bought 10 somewhat similar louvered panels from Daniel Donnelly when he disassembled them from the printing co. building on Route 1 as part of our landscaping).

    Have you been to Ronchamp? We went about five years ago. An incredible place.

    Tom
    Michigan Park/DC

  4. Great Photos! I’ll be sure to tour these when I’m in town next!



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