Mid-Century Modernism
Architecture Tours

The tablets in the van really enhanced the experience. We had three generations on the tour and everyone from age 10 to 74 learned something!
— Amy A.
A MUST do when in Palm Springs - bringing together the history, architecture, art and homes. Lyle is a wonderful, gracious and knowledgeable host. The tour is jam packed with many details of how the city grew, and interesting little personal notes on some of the locals and visitors over the years. Quite amazing the ground one can cover in such a short time! Great experience.
— M. Colbourne, 1 December '18

See Palm Springs Modernism history in context, up-close-and-personal, through the eyes of talented designer, Lyle Boatman. This guide knows his material! He is the only tour guide working in Palm Springs that has a professional degree in Architecture (see Your Guide). 

Just as architects help the general public ”see” and understand things before they are built, Lyle communicates intricate concepts of modern architecture in easy-to-understand language. This skill is one of the many reasons he has earned the 2019 Certificate of Excellence on Beyond what you see from the spacious, high-visibility Ford Transit van, vintage properties are presented with individual digital tablets pre-loaded with aerial photos, vintage and contemporary interiors and exteriors, and plans and sections (when available). You decide what you want to see while Lyle's editorial commentary brings you fascinating details of architects’ and owners’ lives. 

Easy to use digital tablets take you back through history and beyond the garden walls of residential and commercial buildings designed by Albert Frey (with A. Lawrence Kocher, John Porter Clark, and Robson Chambers), William Cody, E. Stewart Williams, Donald Wexler, Richard Neutra, Frank Lloyd Wright, Jr., and John Lautner.

See the dramatic impacts of the Golden Era of Hollywood, World War II, and the Arab Oil Embargo on Palm Springs. Understand how design legacies of international modern masters, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, and LeCorbusier, influenced the Desert Modern architecture of this Coachella Valley resort city.   



You wouldn't hire a gardener to fix your plumbing... (see Why take an architecture tour from someone without this experience? in Your Guide).

I created MidMod Design Tour to combine three things: My love of Modernism, Architecture, and Palm Springs. This city has a terrific collection of well-preserved Mid-century Modern buildings. And MidMod Design Tour will provide you with amazing insight into Palm Springs Modernism. —Lyle Boatman

Tour Options

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MidMod Design Tour

A review of historic Modern Era buildings, (1925-1975). In-vehicle digital presentation takes you back through history, and behind the garden gates with historical and interior photos. See the House of Tomorrow, Sinatra's first desert home, Dinah Shore's house, and others. FREE GIFT set of greeting cards features historic Palm Springs properties rendered in modern style.

Tour approximately 2 hours. 


MidMod Extended Grand Tour

Follow the MidMod Design Tour (left), or do this one all by itself, with visits to mid-century architecture in Rancho Mirage and a visit to the Coachella Valley windfarms. This will follow a brief box lunch with your guide, Lyle Boatman. This extension is a limited offer, only on Thursdays-Saturdays, with box lunch beginning after the earlier MidMod Design Tours, at approximately 2:00 PM.

Extension approximately 2 hours; includes box lunch. READ MORE

Private Tours

To book a private tour, please call 760.835.1480, between 7:30AM and 6PM except Tuesdays (phone may not be answered during tour times) or Contact Us. Private tours may be scheduled at the mutual convenience of the tour guests and your guide, and may not be scheduled at times conflicting with regularly scheduled tours, without a special fee.

Custom itineraries are available including various parts, or all, of the above tours.

Minimum fee $500.00 / for one hour, with up to 5 people.

For Step-on Tours, Contact Us. 

Download printable brochure here.