History in the Making

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The midcentury architecture and design phenomenon was born as California’s urban landscape exploded in the post-World War II era. It was driven by the arrival of millions of veterans as they returned from the war eager to begin new lives and families. The promise of great economic opportunity, as well as spectacular natural beauty and weather attracted many of these who moved to the Golden State. They attended colleges and universities and helped to build sprawling cities, freeway systems, and suburbs. This massive surge of development created a haven for a generation of architects, designers and photographers who introduced a new way of thinking about the way people lived. This paper explores midcentury modernity from its source in the Bauhaus to its heyday in Palm Springs, perhaps the world’s greatest mecca of midcentury architecture. This time of growth sparked the development of entirely new styles in furniture design and manufacture, technology, and fashion that complimented that era of prosperity and optimism. There were many unique professionals who contributed to the legacy of midcentury architecture and design that we pursue, such as; in architecture, Richard Neutra, in photography Julius Shulman and Charles and Ray Eames, each has contributed to the legacy of the era.