Modern Bear Magical Modernism Tour!

In celebration of Modernism Week and International Bear Convergence

Join Modern Bear Hosts Travis Smith and Chris Bale for a Modernism Week Double Decker Bus Tour of the capitol of Mid Century Modern design, Palm Springs!

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Only 45 Tickets will be offered!

Purchase Modern Bear Bus Tour Tickets here:
http://www.ticketderby.com/event/?id=248495

The tour will highlight the two predominate architectural styles of Palm Springs: Mid-Century Modern, and Desert Spanish. The tour includes many homes of the rich and famous such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Cary Grant, all of who resided in striking architectural homes. Many of the city’s architecturally significant civic and commercial buildings are also a part of the tour. The tour will be conducted by the informative and entertaining Chris Sears, along with Travis and Chris.

The top tier of the bus will be used only, to offer guests a unique perspective view of Palm Springs.
A limited block of tickets will be offered after November 1st for the first 45 guests only!
Only the exteriors of properties are seen on the tour

The group will Meet at Modernism Week Camp at 10 AM on Palm Canyon Drive between Jiao Restaurant (Chino) and Copley’s Restaurant. Coffee and donuts will be served while Travis and Chris give a brief talk about the Palm Springs Modern lifestyle and introduce tour guide, Chris Sears. The bus will depart at 10:30 and return to Modernism Camp at approximately 1:00. Guests may eat lunch (not included in the tour) at the food court at the camp, or explore the Uptown Design District dining options.

This is not an official IBC event.

Happy Modern Thanksgiving

Courtesy of escapadeblog.com

“Design Within Reach’s holiday calendar seemed the perfect fit for an autumn holiday. Set in Armonk, New York in a beautiful all glass mid-century home designed by architect Arthur Witthoefft that allows the autumn splendour to take over the interior of the home as well.” – escapadeblog.com

Happy (Modern) Thanksgiving

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Mid Century Modern Porn: Hotel Lautner

This is a Modern Bear favorite! An iconic desert hideaway once known as the Desert Hot Springs Motel has been re-imagined today as Hotel Lautner, an award winning, stunning modern day oasis in the desert.

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The owners purchased the famed modernist architect John Lautner’s mid-century property in 2008 and spent 3 ½ years on its meticulous renovation. To bring this resort successfully into the 21st century, the owners/designers were careful to remain tastefully true to the gestalt of the original design. It has been accurately described as a “hybrid” between luxury vacation rental property and micro-boutique hotel.

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Guests are encouraged to live the Mid-Century Modern “Lautner Lifestyle” in their own private flat equipped with all the creature comforts of a “home away from home”. One can also rent out the entire compound for the ultimate retreat with family and friends. We recently attended a friend’s wedding ceremony and reception there, a magical setting featuring candle lit tables at twilight surrounded by the desert mountains.

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The hotel is comprised of four ingenious interlocking structures. The dramatic play of light throughout the day and night is achieved with the thoughtful use of skylights and glass walls. An impressive succulent garden wraps each unit on three sides giving the guest the magical feeling of living in a terrarium.

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The outdoor patios and garden areas are four steps up giving the room a feeling of being nestled in the desert earth. Each of the four units is remarkably spacious and is uniquely appointed with luxurious vintage modern furnishings and boutique hotel amenities.

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We loved the Saline Plunge Pool with built in seating, large enough to accommodate 8 people, and the adjacent lounge area and outdoor shower. There is also a dramatic Communal Fire Pit Lounge with cushions and pillows, with an Infrared BBQ and dining area located next to the fire pit lounge. Classic butterfly chairs are located throughout the compound.

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Hotel Lautner is located just 10 minutes north of downtown Palm Springs where guests can enjoy fantastic restaurants, vintage modern shopping and mid-century modern architecture. If you’re looking for a unique get-away from crowds but still want to be close enough to drive to clubs, dining, and shopping, we highly recommend this fabulous modern gem in the sunny California desert!

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Russel Wright’s House ~ “Dragon Rock”

One of our favorite designers of the 20th Century is Russel Wright. He designed his personal studio and retreat, (christened “Dragon Rock” by his daughter) in 1952. Nestled into a rocky hillside among 75 acres of trees and woodland gardens, the house and studio overlook a quarry pond.

We love how Wright designed the house with expansive walls of glass, offering dramatic views of the waterfall and surrounding landscape. Their design recalls Japanese temple architecture and an Asian sensibility in handcrafted details and in their deference to nature.

Inside Dragon Rock, Wright intertwined nature and design through elements that included a staircase crafted from boulders, tree limbs used as uprights, and natural elements incorporated into wall coverings and other surfaces.

The property, which is also called “Manitoga,” includes 4 miles of walking trails that Wright designed, with numerous plantings. The trails connect with the Appalachian Trail alongside the neighboring ridge of Canada Hill in Hudson Highlands State Park via the Osborne Loop. The outer trails are open to the public daily until sunset for a suggested donation. Guided tours of Dragon Rock – the house, studio and inner landscape – are offered Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 11am and 1:30pm by advanced booking.

“Style in Steel Home” – Architect Donald Wexler

One of our fave Mid Century Modern architects is Donald Wexler, who was hugely influential in creating the classic Palm Springs look in the homes he designed. He is known for pioneering the use of steel in residential architecture, and in 1962, he designed the all-steel Alexander houses.

In 1967, Wexler designed the fabulous “Style in Steel” house located in Buena Park, California, and featured here in these brilliant photos by Julius Shulman.

Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967. Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967.
Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967. Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967.
Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967. Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967.
Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967. Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967.
Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967. Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967.
Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967. Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967.
Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967. Photo by Julius Shulman
Designed by Donald Wexler, 1967.
Photo by Julius Shulman

Mid Century Modern Porn: The Walker House

The Walker House, 1959

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The Walker House (1959) Ojai, CA | Private Residence of MCM designer & builder Rodney Walker (1910-1986) | Mayoral Photography
The Walker House (1959) Ojai, CA | Private Residence of MCM designer & builder Rodney Walker (1910-1986) | Mayoral Photography

A Modern Bear favorite! This dramatic 1959 MCM residence was designed and built by Rodney Walker for his own home.
Located on an extremely private property in the east end of Ojai, California, its stunning modern design includes 25 foot wooden ceilings, floor to ceiling glass, polished cement floors and an open floor plan. This 4,300 square foot four bedroom, three bathroom home sits on 3.4 acres, featuring lush Japanese gardens with water features, wrap-around redwood decks, pathways and bridges. Walker was a modern designer and builder who specialized in residential architecture in the Southern California area. He contributed three designs to Arts & Architecture magazine’s Case Study House program during the late 1940’s (Case Study House #16, #17, and #18). Many of his homes were photographed by Julius Shulman for Arts & Architecture magazine.