The photographs for this contribution were taken at the Sunmor Estates neighborhood of Palm Springs, CA during Modernism Week 2020. Two homes are showcased here, one by Wexler & Harrison (1955), and the other by William Krisel (1958). The concrete masonry units— often called “breeze blocks”— were a stylistic signature of the time and place, and are featured heavily in both of these homes. These geometric pieces come together, creating a larger pattern, and an essential structure to the region. So essential, the easily reproduced breezeways of the 1950s and 1960s have almost become cliché. During the postwar period, the concrete breeze blocks were the height of architectural fashion, but after it they quickly fell out of favor, almost immediately becoming dated pieces. Many of these structures were torn down and remodeled, which makes the ones left standing special all over again. A visit to Palm Springs would be incomplete–and exceedingly rare, as the breeze blocks come back into style–without a breeze blocks sighting.

Credits: Wexler & Harrison, 1955 / William Krisel, 1958

Remy Smith

Remy Smith is a photographer and artist born and raised in Southern California, now existing and shooting in Los Angeles.  On Instagram: @photog.remy