The Alexander Construction Company, founded by George Alexander and his son, Robert Alexander, had an enormous impact on the residential development of Palm Springs from 1956 to 1965. After proving to his father, with the success of a small development in Los Angeles, that there was an untapped market for moderately priced modern homes, the Alexander Construction Company began to purchase empty desert land in Palm Springs. They hired talented architects versed in the modern vernacular and developed faster methods of building, which also was more economical and profitable. Building continued until 1965, when tragedy struck the family and Bob, George, and their wives, Jimmie and Helene, were among 8 passengers killed in a Lear jet crash near Palm Springs.
The construction of these homes significantly increased the size of Palm Springs and caused the city to take on a new shape, direction, and character as an enclave of modern architecture, now referenced as mid-century modern style. These houses, collectively known as "Alexanders" have come to be appreciated for their rational designs, modernist style, and innovative construction.
Presented by architect and preservationist James R. Harlan, the author of The Alexanders : A Desert Legacy, published by the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation . This tribute journal, one in a series of PSPF tribute journals about Palm Springs, honors the significant contributions made by the Alexander Construction Company to Palm Springs' "built environment." The tribute journal includes rarely seen photographs from the Alexander family, the Julius Shulman archives and from architect William Krisel's personal collection. A book signing follows Harlan’s presentation.
Things to Know
This event is for ages 12 and older.
The stairs to the entrance of the Annenberg Theater are located behind the Annenberg Theater Box Office, adjacent to the Palm Springs Art Museum’s North Parking Lot.
There is ample free public parking in the city-owned garage directly across from the museum’s north parking lot.
Handicap parking is available. This event is wheelchair accessible.
The organizer of this event is Modernism Week.
Event Check-in Location
Annenberg Theater, Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Photo Credits: Images courtesy of author James Harlan.
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