Desert Modernism in Palm Springs cleared for National Register of Historic Places

Palm Springs Visitors Center (Tramway Gas Station) by Albert Frey and Robson C. Chambers, 1965. Photo courtesy Thom Watson/flickr

Palm Springs Visitors Center (Tramway Gas Station) by Albert Frey and Robson C. Chambers, 1965. Photo courtesy Thom Watson/flickr

Given that Palm Springs is a destination for sun-soaked desert modernism, it’s surprising to learn that a number of structures by the area’s best-known architects are not protected. That changed earlier this month when the California State Historical Resources Commission voted to nominate ten buildings by Albert Frey, including Palm Springs City Hall and the iconic Frey House II, as well as the Town & Country Center in Palm Springs designed by Paul R. Williams and A. Quincy Jones for the National Register of Historic Places.

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On View> “A. Quincy Jones: Building for Better Living” at LA’s Hammer Museum

West
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
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(Jason Schmidt / Courtesy Hammer Museum)

(Jason Schmidt / Courtesy Hammer Museum)

A. Quincy Jones: Building for Better Living
The Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles
Through September 8

Archibald Quincy Jones (1913–1979) was a Los Angeles–based architect known both for the glamorous homes he designed for actors like Gary Cooper, as well as his dedication to the redevelopment of middle-class housing using effective, innovative, and sustainable building methods during the 1950s and 60s. His 5,000 built projects were centered on the premise of “better living” and “greenbelt planning.” He experimented with materials like plywood, steel, and masonry block construction and intentionally built in locations where his buildings would have access to natural light, air, ventilation, and views. This exhibition is presented as a part of Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. The documentation on view—including original architectural drawings taken from the architect’s personal and professional archive, a case study house model, and vintage photographs—highlights a variety of Jones’s projects, including community developments, churches, libraries, restaurants, residential homes, work spaces, and schools.

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