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MODERNISM 101 in partnership with PS ModCom

Swiss-born architect Albert Frey (1903-1998) originally worked for master architect Le Corbusier in France, assisting in the design of the Villa Savoye. In 1930, Frey traveled to the United States where Le Corbusier helped him to secure a job with architect A. Lawrence Kocher, also the managing editor of Architectural Record. One of their commissions was a doctor’s office/apartment dual-use building for Kocher's brother in Palm Springs. This project introduced Frey to the California desert, which was to become his home and the backdrop for his subsequent work. He bequeathed his renowned glass and metal house to the Palm Springs Art Museum and it is toured by hundreds of visitors from all over the world every year. Significant buildings by Frey include the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Valley Station, Palm Springs City Hall, North Shore Yacht Club, and Tramway Gas Station (now the Palm Springs Visitor’s Center). Frey will be the subject of a new exhibit at the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center starting Jan. 11, 2024.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Peter Moruzzi is a long-time historian and preservationist with expertise in the architecture of the modern movement. He served as chair of the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Modern Committee from 1992 -1997, and a member of the Conservancy’s board of directors. In 1999, he founded the Palm Springs Modern Committee (PS ModCom), a historic preservation organization. For his efforts at preserving Modernist architecture in Palm Springs, Moruzzi received the Presidential Citation for public service in 2002 from the American Institute of Architects’ California Council, the President’s Award from the California Preservation Foundation in 2012, and the UCLA Architecture and Urban Design Award in 2016. Moruzzi served on the Palm Springs Planning Commission for five years. He is the author of six pictorial history books including two about Palm Springs.

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