The procrastinator’s guide to Modernism Week 2023

Waited until the last moment to plan your Modernism Week activities? We’ve got you covered with a few dozen recommendations.
Tickets to parties, lectures, tours and more are still available for Modernism Week 2023.

Modernism Week officially kicks off today featuring more than 350 events over the course of 11 days. The daunting list of lectures, parties, book signings, and walking tours can get even more stressful once you start seeing the “sold out” notification on some popular tours. But fear not, many of the events below still have tickets available.

Many favorite tours are sold out this week but there are still some tickets available for the Premier Double Decker bus tour, the Heart of the City walking tour and the Frey House II Tour later next week. 

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Below is our attempt to help anyone interested in scoring a last-minute ticket. We make no guarantee that tickets to any of the following will still be available, but they were as of Thursday morning. One important tip: Make sure to check all dates in the first drop-down menu. Just because something is listed as sold out on the day that’s first displayed doesn’t mean other days aren’t available.


Tickets are sold out for the Frank Sinatra home tour, but there are plenty available for the House of Tomorrow Home Tour, featuring the newly renovated Alexander Estate where Elvis and Priscilla Presley honeymooned in 1967 as well as the Celebrity Haven tour that takes visitors on walking tour of resorts that played hosts to Lucille Ball, Doris Day, and more.

Check out some of the most striking architecture in the city on the Giants of Architecture Tour or the Temple Isaiah Tour.

Parties and performances

A few of the big parties are no longer available, but fear not! Get your fill of themed cocktails and more at these events:

Lectures and presentations

Several interesting lectures profile underrepresented groups in architecture, including Black architects like Robert Kennard.

  • The Black Leaders of Leisure in Southern California lecture takes a look at the architecturally significant resorts owned by Black entrepreneurs during the Jim Crow Era.
  • A lecture from Pulitzer Prize winning architecture critic Blair Kamin examines how Modernism was once deeply engaged with social issues. Who is the City For? focuses on the built environment’s effects on equity in Chicago.
  • Fans of KCRW’s DnA: Design and Architecture show can still get tickets to see a presentation from host Frances Anderson on L.A.’s role as a laboratory of sorts for innovative multifamily buildings. 

Modernism Week is about the future of modernism as well as reflecting on the past.

  • Learn more about the process of restoration in Restoring Midcentury Modern, presented by an architect and builder who have renovated homes by Walter Gropius and Philip Johnson.
  • A lecture from architect Anthony Poon asks attendants not to turn Midcentury Modernism into a cliché, “a mere paint-by-numbers approach to design,” in his lecture, The Myth of Midcentury Modernism.

The effects of modernism on landscape architecture and how architecture interacts with the environment is the subject of events like the Superbloom – Taking Inspiration from the Desert Landscapes of Palm Springs, The Modern Utopia: Why the Southern California Desert?, Modern Garden Tour, and the walking tour of the largest collection of Lloyd Wright buildings in the world at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center.

But wait

If you need a break from all midcentury modernism all the time, learn about other styles like Spanish Colonial Revival, Mediterranean, Googie Modern, and the pop art of supermarkets. 


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