Thursday, February 26

The first annual San Diego open-air Mod Swap, a chance to buy, sell or trade your vintage modern objects, is scheduled for Sunday, March 15th. Join us between 11:00a.m. and 2:00p.m. in the lot at the corner of Kettner and Kalmia in Little Italy (in front of Klassik and Jett.) It will be free to sell and shop. Due to restricted capacity sellers need to reserve space by emailing HERE. The modern swap meet, or Mod Swap, is open, and free, to the public.

Borrego Modern III has been announced. This mid-century architectural tour showcasing architecturally and historically significant homes in Borrego Springs kicks off on Friday April 24th with an “Evening Reception & Art Exhibit Opening.” On Saturday April 25th -  BM3 offers a “Home Tour and Evening Cocktail Party” at the historic Borrego Springs Desert Club. To Register click HERE.

The School of Architecture at Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta, Georgia is holding a seminar on “Le Corbusier: Architecture, Urbanism, and Theory,” from February 26 to 28, 2009.

A 1953 Mormon church building is about to be razed in Las Vegas. Check out a blog post on the topic HERE.

Before winter is over, drive out to Phoenix and take a self-guided tour of Frank Lloyd Wright designs in the area courtesy of AZCentral. Check out the sites HERE.

Maybe with the success of the film Slumdog Millionaire, more US tourists will venture to India. I, for one, want to see Le Corbusier’s city Chandigarh. But now the Chandigarh rock garden is enticing – in a Watts Towers way… Check out THIS small write-up on the The Rock Garden project was secretly initiated by Nek Chand Saini circa 1957. It was discovered by the authorities in 1975, by which time it had grown into a 12-acre complex by the Indian self-taught artist.

The Desert Sun reviewed one of the Palm Springs Modernism Weekend home tours including a Donald Wexler Steel house and the Kaufmann House by Richard Neutra. Check out the article HERE.

At the new Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs the interiors feature a reissued stool from our own architect Eugene Weston. See the reproduction of the early 1950s piece “in situ” HERE.

Friday, February 20

Palm Springs’ Desert Sun followed the desert community’s Modernism Week with a number of stories. Among the more interesting was the paper’s review of the tour of Albert Frey’s Frey House II. And even more interesting still was one of the comments to the story stating “By this time next year another famous Frey building will have completed renovation and be open to the public. Restoration of the North Shore Beach & Yacht Club is scheduled to begin shortly. When completed this fall, its primary function will be as a community center for the growing North Shore Community.” Read the article HERE.

Sidney Williams, associate curator at the Palm Springs Art Museum, offers other pointers on how to discern mid-century modern architecture from its copycats.

Michael Stern and Alan Hess, co-authors of “Julius Shulman: Palm Springs,” recently presented a lecture about the 98-year-old photographer's work as a part of Modernism Week events. Read about the presentation HERE.

Richard Neutra’s Singleton Residence (ca. 1954) at 15000 Mulholland Drive is priced to move. Recently discounted from $19.5M to a mere $14,995,000, the 4 bedroom, 5 bath house, recently remodeled by owner Vidal Sassoon, is perched on a 5-acre knoll with unobstructed views of Los Angeles. Learn more HERE and HERE.

Marvin Rand, a photographer whose images captured more than five decades of Los Angeles' architectural history, including landmark works by Irving Gill, Charles and Henry Greene, Watts Towers creator Simon Rodia, Welton Beckett, Craig Ellwood, Raphael Soriano, Charles Eames, and Louis I. Kahn died Saturday at his Marina del Rey home. He was 84. Read his obituary HERE.

A new exhibition, Le Corbusier - The Art of Architecture, opened yesterday at the Barbican Art Gallery. "The exhibition really shows how he was a polymath. We see his architecture but also his paintings, his sculptures and his books. We see him as a much more rich and diverse figure," said curator Lydia Yee.

Tuesday, February 17

Modernism Week kicked off with architect William Krisel receiving the 319th star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars on Friday afternoon. “Palm Springs and mid-century modern architecture just go together,” Krisel said after he was honored with the star in front of more than 100 people at 300 S. Palm Canyon Drive. Krisel was one of two architects brought to the desert by the Alexanders, a father-son developer team. Krisel, along with Dan Palmer, designed the first extensive tract division in Palm Springs around 1956. Soon enough the duo designed the House of Tomorrow, also known as the Elvis Presley Honeymoon Hideaway, as well as the Ocotillo Lodge.

Graham Downes Architecture has posted renderings of a Bali Hai remodel HERE.

The Greta Magnusson Grossman Residence (1948) built in Beverly Hills by Grossman was bought by Darryl Wilson for $1.6 million nearly three years ago. "We had to take it down to the studs," says Wilson, who was advised to demolish the house even though it's one of the few documented Grossman residences still standing. Wilson and architect Tony Unruh reconciled the house's past with its future, nearly doubling the original 1,500 square feet. Read the bittersweet story of remodeling an important home HERE. By the mid-1960s Grossman retired to Encinitas and built another home for herself in 1966 at 1369 Hygeia in Encinitas and focused on painting. See images of her work HERE.

The Smalley Residence (1973) by A. Quincy Jones in Holmby Hills, now decorated with contemporary art and furnishings by owner Shulamit Nazarian is profiled HERE. "I think when you live in a classic home, you want to respect the architecture but also make it your own," Nazarian muses, adding, "I hope Quincy would approve of what I've done.

The Ruth and Henry Colby Residence (1931) by William Wurster is up for sale in San Franciso for $2.5 million. Expansive gardens were originally designed by landscape architect Thomas Church, an elevator and two sets of stairs connect all three levels. See more HERE.

 

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