Credit line: Santa Fe Federal Savings & Loan, 1960, Julius Shulman (1910 - 2009), photographer; E. Stewart Williams (1909-2005), architect, © J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute (2004.R.10)
The Palm Springs Art Museum recently purchased a historic 1961 bank building in downtown Palm Springs and is in the process of rehabilitating the iconic building to create the new Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion.
The building, designed by renowned mid-century modern architect E. Stewart Williams, is located at 300 South Palm Canyon Drive and was originally designed to house the Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan. The building will be devoted to architecture and design and provide a space for exhibitions and programs, and includes an archive study space. A prime example of mid-century modern design, the building will provide a space for educational programming, community projects, and a retail merchandise area for unique design objects.
Marmol Radziner Architects of Los Angeles, architects renowned for their restoration of two of the most significant homes in Palm Springs, the Kaufmann House and the Ship of the Desert, are working with the museum to create develop the floor plan and overall design restoration of the building, which is a classic mid-century international style structure, and was recently designated as a protected Class I Historic Site. Situated in a prominent downtown location at the southeast corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Baristo Road, it features a ground level glass pavilion space that will showcase architecture and design exhibitions and curatorial offices. The building has a lower level that contains a vault, meeting space, storage space, kitchen, and restrooms with a total of more than 13,000 square feet.
When completed, the A&D Center will be the country’s first historic structure to be transformed into a free-standing architecture and design museum that is housed in a modern building. The rehabilitation is an enormous undertaking, requiring both adhering to the Secretary of the Interior Standards for alterations to this historic property and bringing the building up to current 21st century building codes.
Robust fundraising efforts to support the transformation of the building are in process and the list of Founders continues to grow. More than thirty founders have already pledged support for the process, and the museum is seeking additional founders to join this prestigious group. Only 100 founder level memberships will be offered in total. Founders memberships are $25,000 and can be paid over three years and comes with many special museum benefits including President’s Circle membership and Architect and Design Council membership. In addition, a handful of naming opportunities still exist.
If you would like more information about the Center and how to be involved in this historic venture, please contact J.R. Roberts at or 415 297-9309.
See some videos about the Architecture and Design Center on line:
KCET "Outbound" episode about mid-century lifestlye (the A&D Center is profiled starting at 4:37 in this clip):