A Star Is Born: Robert Imber

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A Star Is Born: Robert Imber
The Oasis Building (1951)

Designed by E. Stewart Williams. “Downtown Palm Springs’ quintessential mid-century building includes innovations in design, materials, and purpose that are now iconic and exemplary historic elements. It could be one of the most exquisite downtown experiences, but sadly layered with decades of mistaken decisions rendering its architectural heritage invisible to many passersby.” - RI

Source: Julius Shulman
A Star Is Born: Robert Imber
Robert Imber at Palm Springs City Hall (1952-57)

Designed by Frey, Clark, and Chambers. “A unique mix of architecture, innovation, and materials just after WWII...Not your grandparent's granite, pillared civic center...A notable footnote, imagine the progressive ‘thinking’ that commissioned and accepted the structure and its landscape for posterity.” - RI

Source: James Schnepf
A Star Is Born: Robert Imber
Bank of America Building (formerly City National Bank, 1959)

Designed by Victor Gruen & Associates. “Exquisite, graceful design in a bold and imposing scale that commands attention for its excellence and siting, yet graciously ‘directs’ the swirl of activity that surrounds and flows through it.” - RI

A Star Is Born: Robert Imber
The Abernathy Residence (1962)

Designed by William F. Cody. "Where symmetry, balance, and constraint of scale and siting create a perfect experience for visitor or viewer...Defines any use of the word ‘stunning.’” - RI

Source: Dan Chavkin
A Star Is Born: Robert Imber
Tahquitz Plaza (1971)

Designed by Hugh M. Kaptur. “From an era that brought much accentuated but mediocre design, this strong but ultimately understated example of 1970’s architecture combines form, function, and natural materials in a relationship to its near and far environment…with a human scale and delightfully nourishing experience for its occupants.” - RI

Source: Patrick McGrew/Matt Burkholz

Celebrate preservationist Robert Imber on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars on October 22, 2016.

St. Louis native Robert Imber was no stranger to the West Coast when he moved to Palm Springs in 2000, with the hopes of retiring in the desert’s beautiful, balmy climate. He and his family traveled annually to Los Angeles throughout his childhood, and in the early part of the 21st century, he decided to make Palm Springs his permanent home.

A natural love of architecture was what drew him to the city, and an insatiable desire to share that love with others – along with a timely and growing interest in modernism – was what led to him to found the Palm Springs Modern Tours.

The full-immersion tour showcases the best of Palm Springs’ history, architecture, and design year-round. Coupled with Imber’s 25+ years of experience as an advocate for architectural preservation (he served as a Trustee of the California Preservation Foundation (CPF), founding member of the Palm Springs Modern Committee (PSMODCOM), author, preservationist, historian, ambassador…the list goes on!), the tours are filled with incredible architecture and stories that only an avid, irrepressible architecture buff and preservation advocate would know.

On October 22, Modernism Week is proud to celebrate one of the pioneers of architecture education and tourism, and recognize Robert Imber’s significant contribution to the local community during a special dedication ceremony on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. In honor of this achievement, we’ve asked him to share some of his favorite buildings in Palm Springs with us (click the gallery above to view). 

We leave you with a word of advice from Robert Imber to Palm Springs first-timers: “Relax, enjoy, savor the magical multifaceted world that is this desert paradise…and get a place here!”

Palm Springs Walk of Stars Dedication for Robert Imber
October 22, 2016
2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center
300 S. Palm Canyon Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262

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