Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Early-Century Modern Signs of the Times

Leaving the land of death, I continued on the train to Palm Springs where hideously designed new signage was promising that "Life = Fun."

As the psychedelically decorated "A+ Home Health Care" vehicle in front of the St. Baristo condos reminded, Palm Springs is affectionately known as "God's Little Waiting Room."

Across the street from the condo complex is an historic 1935 Protestant church that was never called St. Baristo but which was part of the redevelopment plans of developer John Wessman, who wanted to turn the religious complex into a spa.

This didn't pan out so well so the church property is now up for sale, which was a bizarre sight.

Down the street on Palm Canyon Drive, one of the mid-century modern buildings has emptied out of most of its tenants, including one that pretty much sums up the casino financial structure of the U.S. economy.

The cracking signage spelled out "Pit Boss Empire USA."

Across the street, another mid-century modern masterpiece by E. Stewart Williams is free of ugly commercial signage because until recently it was a Washington Mutual banking branch and the Chase conglomerate hasn't had time to put up its logo yet.

The most unusual signage in Palm Springs, though, is a homemade screed that's been taped to walls and telephone poles all over town by either a speed freak or a schizophrenic who wants you to know you're not alone if you're hearing voices and hate Lisa aka: Victoria, Carmen (but her real name is Sheree). The handbill publisher also advises that "You are not are being electronically harassed!!!" And who's to say he/she is wrong?


Matthew Hubbard said...

Is that really the PSPD Chief and his phone number? Would it make sense to black the number out just in case?

Civic Center said...

Dear Matty: I didn't even notice the phone number but I assume it's correct. However, the number is public, so I don't see any harm.

Matthew Hubbard said...

Upon further review, I agree with you that it is a public number and no harm is created by putting it on the 'net.

I blame Victoria for my earlier post. Dear God, do I hate her!

Civic Center said...

Dear Matty: Just remember, her real name is Sheree.

Nancy Ewart said...

Now I know why my microwave is singing Sheree amore.

Joe Lynn said...

Thread drift.

E. Stewart Williams' son, Geoffrey was a successful artist working in a house on Kisling St. I liked Geoffrey's work a lot, bought two paintings.

Your photo of Stewart's building make me wonder how long we'll have its pristine form before it gets festooned again by a company in need of identity.

affinity said...

That is the church I raised myself in. My parents were not religious but I started going to church in 2nd grade to get out of the house. I sang in the choir, I taught vacation bible school and sunday school, and was part of a Christian Coffee house on Palm Canyon in the late 60s. The church saved my life and gave me a home. And now I am the happiest 60 year old agnostic you will ever meet. Thanks for the photo Mike.

Do you eat at Las Casuelas when you are there? Still my favorite mexican food EVER!

Palm Springs seems like a good place to go when you are sad. Thinking of you and your family!

Larry-bob said...

"I'm not Lisa, my name is Julie."