Where the Modern Things Are: Cool Homes in Palm Springs

  • Elrod House

    Elrod House

  • Steve McQueen's House

    Steve McQueen's House

  • Race Car Driver Jim Jeffords' House

    Race Car Driver Jim Jeffords' House

In case you missed it: Modernism Week, the annual celebration of Mid-Century Modern architecture in Palm Springs, CA, has come and gone.

The festival, which draws over 50,000 attendees every year, celebrates design, culture, and art from the mod era. It also provides home tours of museum-quality masterpieces.

But if you prefer to live in a museum of your own, consider a few stunning examples of modern homes currently on the market in Palm Springs.

For those not familiar, Southern California's Palm Springs became a hotbed of modernism in the '40s, '50s, and '60s. The area's proximity to Hollywood helped its popularity with well-heeled stars who liked quick weekend escapes, and it also led to a housing boom in the midcentury for those not-so-famous who just liked the year-round hot, dry weather.

Inspired by all that sunshine and the stark desert landscape, sleek, glass-infused homes by renowned architects popped up in what's said to be "the largest concentration of Mid-Century Modern architecture in the world," notes Trevor O'Donnell of PS Architecture Tours. "Not the most, but the most in one place."

Interest in the iconic designs remains strong, says Paul Kaplan, director of the modern real estate firm, Paul Kaplan Group. "Palm Springs has become an international destination for tourists and residents alike. Many people purchase homes here, because they're drawn to our architecture and the indoor-outdoor lifestyle these homes provide."

Check out some of the eye-popping residences available -- both from the midcentury or inspired by it. Martinis not included.

816 N Patencio Rd

Price: $8,950,000

So Mod: Built in 2007, this Old Las Palmas estate "takes inspiration" from the area's desert modern movement. The infinity pool, glass walls, and multiple fireplaces give the illusion that the home is floating on water, or balancing on glass.

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2203 Southridge Dr

Price: $4,595,000

So Mod: Live like a movie star: This desert getaway was once owned by the one and only Steve McQueen, and it's largely unchanged since the actor lived there. Constructed of two glass boxes framed in steel, and cantilevered over the mountains, fab features include a floating staircase, walls of glass, and a pool.

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2175 Southridge Dr

Price: $10,495,000

So Mod: The famed Elrod House, commissioned by Arthur Elrod, is a jaw-dropping design by architect John Lautner, who excavated the site but kept the rocks in place for the concrete domed living room. The iconic design was featured in the James Bond film "Diamonds Are Forever."

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2212 Southridge Dr

Price: $4,495,000

So Mod: Live like you're on a boat! With the triangular-shaped lot size, the shape of the home mimics the tip of a ship's prow. Originally built in 1992 for race car driver Jim Jeffords, the theme throughout is sharp angles. Massive walls of windows look out to city views.

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520 W Via Lola

Price: $2,395,000

So Mod: Did "Miami Vice" relocate to Cali? Yes, this house was built in 1954, but subsequent remodels have given it an '80s vibe. Features include glass brick, terrazzo tile, four en suite bedrooms with patios off each one, and expansive roof decks.

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3298 Tiger Tail Ln

Price: $1,950,000

So Mod: Here's California Modern living at its finest. Built in 1965, the secluded glass home blends with nature through the flow of indoors and outdoors, natural redwood ceilings, and a 40-foot-long saltwater lap pool.

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554 S La Mirada Rd

Price: $1,800,000

So Mod: This "meticulously renovated and architecturally significant" home was designed for the indoor-outdoor Palm Springs lifestyle. Furnishings and custom artwork are also available.

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2987 E Livmor Ave

Price: $710,000

So Mod: Recently featured on Modernism Week home tours, this extensively renovated and expanded 1955 Cal Mod home includes a fire pit and sheltered barbecue for outdoor entertaining.