It always amazes me that such a small community as our own village of Palm Springs, California can offer to the world so much architectural relevance, particularly as it relates to the mid-20th century Modernist movement. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, our village probably has the largest concentration of mid-century buildings in the US, if not the world, most of them being single family homes. Among these more than 2500 mid-century architectural gems built here as tract homes by the Alexander Construction Company, there are a few very special, extraordinary masterpieces, built and designed by world renowned architects such as John Lautner and Richard Neutra (see below*).
Last week while surfing through the New York Times online, I saw that the architectural genius of John Lautner is being showcased in Los Angeles, in a current exhibition at the Hammer Museum, entitled “Between Earth and Heaven: The Architecture of John Lautner”. And lo and behold, to my amazement, the first image in the NYT slide show of the exhibit was that of our own Palm Springs “Elrod House”. This house was made memorable, at least to me, by its prominant role as a set piece for the home of the arche villain in the seventh James Bond thriller “Diamonds are Forever”. This, you may remember, is the film in which Sean Connery confronts the acrobatic villains “Bambi” and “Thumper” who both pummel him until he finally subdues them in the Elrod house swimming pool, which seems to hover out in space.
We love to see our architectural gems in the news, and I thought that you might also be interested. You can see the John Lautner designs at Hammer Gallery Exhibit.
Note: The saga of this house remains unfinished; about one week after the auction, the sale of the house unraveled, and we are still waiting to hear as to the future of the house.