Sunday, February 28, 2010

sunday drive: town and country center

Oh My God, it still exists! Today's Sunday Drive is really a walk, okay a stroll, and it's a leisurely stroll at that- through the iconic 1947 Town and Country Center, a mixed use retail-restaurant-office outdoor space in the late International Style. The intersection of curvilinear and rectangular, devoid of superflous ornamentation, and almost as pure as Mies.

Possibly the loveliest intact unrestored space left in palm Springs, and of course it's threatened with demolition by out of town developers who want to tear it down to make a street in order to benefit their proposed re-use of the boring, forgettable, unfashionable Desert Fashion Center. Totally unnecessary, there's a thoroughfare a half block away. But that's how out of town developers think. They don't give a damn about anything but money in their pockets. For now, there is detente - the City Council wisely won't issue any demolition permits until the proposed project is "well along in construction" and they haven't done a thing toward it, and so the Center lives. It's screaming for adaptive re-use. The Palm Springs Modern Committee, the Friends of the Town and Country and the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation are screaming for it to get the adaptive re-use it so deserves.

Take a look- isn't it breathtaking? Who could tear down such a magical space?

See more photos here

Visit the friends of town and country center here

the palm springs modern committee here

and the palm springs preservation foundation here

Sunday, February 21, 2010

sunday drive: trailerite

The country found its wanderlust in the postwar decade. True there had been trailers in the thirties, mostly small boxy creations, but the dream was fulfilled in the fifties. The birth of the interstate highway system and the advent of the high compression engine created smooth ribbons to travel upon and powerful cars to traverse them.

That the trailers evolved as well was all but a foregone conclusion. The Airstream and the Spartan were the most deluxe. The Spartan, produced by the Spartan Aircraft company (owned by J. Paul Getty) was a masterpiece of aluminum and birchwood and ranged in size from 28 all the way up to 50 feet in 1956. Wally Byam introduced his Airstream trailer in 1936 but his products caught fire in the postwar decades of the fifties and sixties (not literally of course, that was the Ford Pinto.)

Modernism Week here in Palm Springs has been a smash success and I've had an awesome time. Yesterday was an awesome vintage trailer show here at the ACE Hotel and we were treated to Airstreams, a Spartan, a Silver Streak and a few lesser brands.

So just for a moment be like Nicky and Tacy in search of the Bungalowette trailer, and come along with me to the trailer show.

Maybe you'll end up being a trailerite too...

More Trailer Show Here