Palm Springs Preservation Foundation

Free Lecture Series

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

PSPF was proud to present four free lectures to enthusiastic attendees at the Palm Springs Woman's Club. The lectures were generously sponsored by HEDGE Vintage | Eclectic Furnishings. (Photos Mood Creative, Will Kleindienst, Steven Price and PSPF)

Lost, Saved & Endangered: Modernist Architecture in Palm Springs presented by PSPF board member Gary Johns. Gary's very popular lecture, replete with amusing anecdotes and rarely seen vintage photos, always makes a compelling case for the importance of historic preservation.

Concrete Screen Block: The Power of Pattern presented by PSPF board members Ron and Barbara Marshall. The lecture explored one of the least appreciated but most readily recognized of midcentury building materials: concrete screen block. Using many historical and rare images from their new book Concrete Screen Block: The Power of Pattern, the Marshalls explained how screen block exploded onto the architectural scene in the late 1950s, reached its peak at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and slowly diminished in popularity into the 1970s. During its heyday, screen block was offered in over 250 designs, some verging on the sculptural.

When Hollywood Regency Met Modernism: Marrakesh Country Club presented by PSPF board member Steven Price. Palm Desert’s Marrakesh Country Club is home to a unique colony of 364 pink-and-white authentic Hollywood Regency villas – the only one in the world designed by the acknowledged master practitioner of the style, architect John Elgin Woolf. Price revealed Woolf’s previously overlooked place on the Modernism spectrum, discovered in the course of researching his recent book Pink Jewel of the Desert.

Mother Nellie Coffman and Her Beloved Desert Inn presented by former Palm Springs mayor Will Kleindienst. Historian, architect, preservationist, author, and raconteur, Kleindienst wound his way through the fascinating history of Palm Springs as seen through the life of pioneer and philanthropist Nellie Coffman, founder of Palm Springs' storied and internationally-famous Desert Inn. Coffman's efforts as one of the "women who built Palm Springs" is an inspiring story of how grit, determination and vision can accomplish extraordinary things. Kleindienst reflected on the demolition of the Desert Inn "in the name of progress" in 1967, and the enduring lessons learned as a result of that loss.


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