May was a wild month for preservationists in California. First came the scrambling, last-minute effort, ultimately unsuccessful, to preserve Pleasant Hill’s CineArts domed theater. But then, in a victory to those who find modernism historic, the Palm Desert city council voted unanimously to designate the Sandpiper Condominiums Circles 11 and 12 the city’s newest historic district.
The portions of the condo complex were designed by the Los Angeles firm Palmer and Krisel, which also designed the famed Alexander homes in Palm Springs, developed by the equally famed Alexander family.
That a unique structure built in 1967 can’t make the historic cut in one California city, while a development built in 1965 gets unanimous approval in another, demonstrates the quirks and frustrations of preservationism as a cause.
This would be the perfect time to take in an educated, moderated discussion “addressing property rights, preservation, and the impact of architecture on our communities.” Fortunately, that is exactly the description of such an event scheduled for June 5 at the American Institute of Architects in the East Bay. KQED host Michael Krasny moderates the discussion between the as-yet unnamed “architect, developer, activist, preservationist, and city regulatory representative.”
For tickets and full details, click on over to the AIAEB site. Don’t miss the post-program wine and cheese!