Mid-century/desert modern buildings
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was called the “eighth wonder of the world” when it opened in 1963, a major feat of engineering which took nearly 15 years from design to completion and later was designated an historical civil engineering landmark.
Preeminent modernist architects Albert Frey & Robson C. Chambers and John Porter Clark were enlisted to design and build Valley Station (1949-1963), a unique structure that forms a bridge over Chino Canyon to allow water (and the occasional boulder) to pass underneath while its large panoramic windows offer close-up views of the mountainside.
Meanwhile, E. Stewart Williams was in charge of creating Mountain Station (1961-1963), a ski-type lodge, if you will, perched high atop Mt. San Jacinto (elevation 8,516 feet), with its own mid-century modern sensibility.
Together, these two modernist structures are linked by the Aerial Tramway which whisks visitors from one station to the other (where the temperature can vary by 30 F degrees) inside the world’s largest rotating tramcars, in about 10 minutes.
This is a modernist adventure you don’t want to miss!
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