This closeup of a display at the Palm Springs Visitor’s Center showcases a glimpse of the town’s appreciation for it’s midcentury gems.

If you follow Atomic Ranch on social media you’ve seen our coverage of Modernism Week—the annual celebration of Midcentury Modern architecture and design in Palm Springs, California.

For me, the week was jam-packed with events. I was able to attend neighborhood and home tours, met incredible homeowners, and dreamed up big ideas for future issues. Somewhere in between all of this and leading Atomic Ranch‘s seminar and home tours, I stood back and was amazed at the passion for midcentury architecture that swirled around me.

An Enthusiastic Community

Palm Springs itself stood still for Modernism Week. Instead, the starburst-adorned and brightly hued houses took center stage. A parking lot turned into the main hub, neighborhoods teamed with extra cars, and sunglass-clad enthusiasts wandered the countless homes, exhibits and shops that had all put their best retro foot forward. Every person I met was eager to chat about their mid mod home or share about the dream one that they’re saving up to buy.

To say that I was inspired by spending a week surrounded by enthusiasts would be an understatement. Countless conversations focused on preserving the best parts of midcentury architecture and design—and it was beautiful. Modernism Week carried with it a tone of, “You love this? Me too!”

I heard real questions being asked.

     “How did you insulate your flat roof without losing the slim profile?”

     “Where did you find your new old stock tile?” 

     “Wait, that isn’t original? What contractor did you use?”

And I heard experts share real answers (some of whom were on my panel).

Hugh Kaptur, a familiar name for many modernist enthusiasts, is to thank for this stunning home—which was then lovingly restored by Sally Julien of Modernous. It was included on the official Atomic Ranch home tour.
Hugh Kaptur, a familiar name for many modernist enthusiasts, is to thank for this stunning home—which was then lovingly restored by Sally Julien of Modernous. It was included on the official Atomic Ranch home tour.

Preserving for Tomorrow

The takeaway here is that  the passion for midcentury design is alive and well—but it will only continue if we share it.

My preservation challenge for you is to introduce someone to the world of mid mod. Share the love, if you will. Introduce a friend to the works of your favorite designer, or tell a family member the “why” behind your enthusiasm.

Preservation should be an open (and preferably orange) door that excitedly welcomes new folks. What can you do to ensure that the joy of butterfly roofs, brutalist escutcheons, and terrazzo floors lives on?

I hope to see you (and your friend) at Modernism Week next year.

 

Sarah Jane Stone - EditorSarah Jane Stone is the editor of Atomic Ranch, has a deeply held passion for all things vintage, a weak spot for handmade pottery and loves wearing neutrals for their chic simplicity. She is endlessly restyling her coffee table and, along with her husband, is on a lifelong hunt for the next best cup of coffee (preferably in a stylish mug). Catch behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, weekly Etsy finds and more by following her on Instagram @sarahjanestone_editor.