North Shore Yacht Club

When Janey and I visited the Salton Sea last weekend we made sure to stop at the North Shore Yacht Club because it was designed by one of my favorite architects, desert modernist Albert Frey. After World War II, Frey designed some of Palm Springs most iconic buildings, including the Tramway Gas Station, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway,  Palm Springs City Hall and, my personal favorite, Frey House II nestled up in the hills above Palm Springs. But among all his work the North Shore Yacht Club might be among the most whimsical, after all who better than the man who built a house around a boulder to design a yacht club in the middle of the desert?

Frey obviously had an immense amount of fun designing the club. From the exposed aluminum siding to the mast and nautical flags it looks like a giant ship about the set sail right off the shore. The club cost over $2 million to build (over $16 million today) but boasted the largest marina in California when it opened, and counted celebrities like Jerry Lewis, members of the Beach Boys and Marx Brothers were among its members. The club actually managed to stay open through the 1980s until a flood wiped out the marina and it was finally forced to close. After its closure some residents remember it being used for AA meetings until it was finally abandoned to rust away in the 1990s.

Finally in 2009 Riverside County funded a $3.35  million renovation to be used as a community center and museum. The team, which included the architect who also restored the Tramway Gas Station, had to strip eight layers of paint from the brickwork and search nationwide for the proper aluminum siding. Sadly, the museum is gone since its lease with the county expired, but the building is still in use as a senior center, community center and event space.

Greetings from Salton Sea!

I hope you enjoyed my snapshots from our visit to the Salton Sea. Shooting Americana is one of my biggest passions, and I look forward to continuing to share the images that I capture with you in the future. But for right now, how about a look at what I wore for our outing! I wanted to go for an outfit that was practical for shooting in such an environment, while also something that looked like an outfit a gal out for a vacation along the shores might have worn. So I opted for my one and only romper (something I hope to change!) and a pair of Minnetonkas.

We shot these outside of the North Shore Yacht Club, which was designed by one of Patrick’s favorite architects, Albert Frey. Stay tuned for a guest post by Patrick about the club!

Outfit
Romper: Buffalo Exchange, Fullerton, California
Mocs: Minnetonka
Purse: Found by my dad

Desert Shores

Over the weekend Patrick and I took a day trip to the Salton Sea to see what we could see (yeah, I just went there). Last March I visited the ghostly Salton Sea for the first time with my dad, but we only explored the east side of the sea. During this visit, Patrick and I drove along a portion of the west side.

The anomaly that is the Salton Sea was the result of flooding from the Colorado River into irrigation canals along an area known as the Salton Sink, a dry lake bed high in salt deposits, so high that salt mining occurred in the area in the late 1800s. As the canals were breached, water poured in, and a singular lake, with no water source going in (after the flood was contained) or an outlet, meaning the only way for water to leave is through evaporation, a process that leaves behind more salt. After World War II, the California Department of Fish and Game released thousands of fish into the sea, and the fishermen quickly flocked to the area (as did many species of birds) and in the mid-twentieth century the area became a resort destination. Backs of postcards described a place where “the boating facilitates are the best and the modern motel, trailer park and cafe will add to your vacationing pleasure” However, many of the fish released could not tolerate the high salinity of the water combined with toxic chemical runoff, and began to die by the hundreds, washing up on shore, and within a few years, the great Salton Sea resort boom was over.

Today the Salton Sea looks like remnants of a war zone, with hollowed out buildings, trailers that appear as if they would fall over with a sneeze made too close to them. But the area is part of California’s unique history, which is something I continue to seek out, and capture before it completely disappears.

As we walked the shores and explored the area, we met other photographers, one who makes regular visits to the Salton Sea. He described how much has changed over the years, and whispers of a push to tear down what remains. It should be noted that while these images give a sense of complete and utter desolation, the area is not uninhabited, for there are still residents along the shores of the Salton Sea.

So much has disappeared over the last two decades, and the area is now rampant with graffiti. Patrick and I discussed revisiting later this year, as we still need to visit Salvation Mountain, another one of California’s oddities.

Stay tuned for a look at what I wore for our outing, and Patrick will be doing another guest post to discuss the North Shore Yacht Club.

Case Study House #1

While Janey and I visited the Walt Disney Studio in Burbank last week we also decided to take a look at Case Study House #1. However, saying that the house in the photo above is the first Case Study House would be bending the truth a little. There is quite a history to the first Case Study House and its architect Julius Ralph Davidson.

Julius Ralph Davidson immigrated to the United States in 1923, working as a set designer for famed film director Cecil B. De Mille. He also began to design interiors, furniture and fixtures while remodeling homes. He also designed the famous Coconut Grove nightclub at the now demolished Ambassador Hotel, and in 1945 John Entenza, the editor of the magazine Arts and Architecture, invited him to design a home for the Case Study House Program.

The home designed for a hypothetical  “Mr. and Mrs. X” was published in a 1945 issue of Arts and Architecture, but never built. The original designed called for a two story house, but, as you can see, the home was built as a single story home.

The house also included extensive built-ins, highlighting Davidson’s experience designing fixtures and furniture. Some of the highlights include a built in shoe closet in the wife’s dressing room, reading lights and book shelves around the beds, as well as extensive storage in the living room for a radio, record player, television, books and home movies, which Davidson notes could be projected on the wall above the built-in piano.

The initial design also featured a separate bathroom/dressing room for the husband and wife so the could both get ready for work at the same time. There are also easy access to garage and kitchen from the master bedroom, and a built in desk (with custom designed ceiling and desk lamps) so someone could get work done in the morning.

Unfortunately despite publication and massive publicity a client was never found and the house went unbuilt. However in 1948 Davidson revised the design for a client and it was constructed in 1948, but by that point several other homes for the Case Study program had been built so the house we saw was neither the first designed or the first built despite being labeled #1.

The revised design for the house has many hallmarks of the original, extensive built-ins, privacy, indoor-outdoor living and room for entertaining. There is a small garden hidden behind the ivy covered wall in the front and another attached to the master bedroom. There is also a guest bedroom behind the garage and separated from the rest of the house by a covered outdoor eating area.

Janey also bought be the Case Study Houses: The Complete CSH Program which has an incredible amount of drawings and photos and the original text of all the articles, which provided much more information for this house than another book we had.

Let’s Get Some Shoes!

Last night a little birdie told me that Re-Mix was having a warehouse sale that began yesterday and carried on through today. They were doing the sale in tandem with Loco Lindo at their warehouse. The sale for Re-Mix included “overstock, old stock, and second quality” pairs of shoes and prices between 40% to 75% off of regular retail! Since I adore Re-Mix’s shoes, I was elated over the opportunity to score more pairs, as I often get one pair about every other year due to their hefty price tag, that is unless I happen upon a pair at Buffalo Exchange or somewhere similar.

The sale was up in Glendale, about a 45 minute to one hour drive for us, and we left early as to arrive a little early, as I had some concerns that there may be quite the line, which is known to occur with other vintage inspired lines, like Pin-Up Girl Clothing‘s infamous yard sales. Thankfully, it was low key, with only a handful of girls already in line.

I felt there was little chance for me, as I am a fairly average size in shoes, a 7/7.5 depending on the shoe, but I walked out with four pairs of shoes!

I was so excited to find one pair that I had been ogling over for some time, the Spectator. Not only did I snag a pair in classic black and white, but also a pair in brown (which apparently is no longer offered) which I think will look swell with some of my Adventurer Chic ensembles.

I also picked up a pair of their Veronicas, a style I wasn’t necessarily on the hunt for, but since they were available in my size and in white I scooped them up, as I was in desperate need of a new pair of white shoes.

And a girl can never go wrong with a pair of classic pumps, which for Re-Mix is their Babydoll. I have many pairs of red shoes, but my classic pumps have been on their last legs for awhile, so I was pleased to get a pair to replace them.

I was a little bummed there were no pairs of their Pleated Toe shoe, as I practically live out of my pair that I have because they are incredibly comfortable. But I am so pleased we went! If I were to purchase all of these from their website, I would have been looking at a total of $698! But the total of all four pairs at the sale was $367! Talk about a deal! I can’t wait to step out in each of these!

A Visit to the Studio

Another one of the perks of being a Cast Member for the Disneyland Resort is access to the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. Of course it is limited access, I can’t just go stepping onto a sound stage during filming, but it is access nonetheless! Recently, the ultimate Disney fan club, D23, announced the recent lobby display for the Disney Archives, which celebrates the 75th anniversary of Walt Disney Studios. The display boasted a wide variety of items from the archives, from models to furniture to props, and I was extremely excited. But before I geek out too much about the archives, how about a peek at my outfit.

Read on for a glimpse into the Walt Disney Studio…

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A Return to the Orchid Tree Inn

In 2013 during a visit to Palm Springs I shared images of a vacant (and at the time, for sale) hotel and adjacent church. It was The Orchid Tree Inn and the Community Church of Palm Springs, and you can view the first visit here. When we returned to Palm Springs in 2014, the hotel we were staying at was actually right across the street from the Orchid Tree Inn, and it still was vacant and had suffered a major blow. In September of 2013, the church fell victim to a fire.

When we visited in spring of 2014, I snapped pictures, but couldn’t find the words to describe my feelings at the time, and thus didn’t blog about it. Earlier this week we visited Palm Springs once again for Patrick’s annual conference there and I found myself lured to the Orchid Tree Inn for a third time to check in on its state. Sadly, nothing had really changed, but I still snapped photos. I was also prompted to do some more research on the fire and the status of the hotel.

In doing in my research, I came across an article that discussed that the church and Orchid Tree Inn are to be renovated to what is described as a “luxury boutique hotel” and it prompted me to feel a need to share the photos from last year and the recent ones ones I took this week. It is difficult to get fresh photos of a property you can only take photos of from the perimeter, but I just wanted to share these images to help in telling the history and story of the Orchid Tree Inn, and in some way, aiding to its preservation. First let’s take a look at the photos from last year.


Gear up for a pretty picture heavy post!

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