Thursday, October 13, 2005

Good architect dies.

Now that we've reached our 30s, much of our time is spent reading the obits, hoping for our enemies and rich relatives to die. Turns out a good guy died: E. Stewart Williams, a Palm Springs architect who reflected a love of modernism and the desert in houses and buildings that became landmarks of midcentury style, has died. He was 95. Williams helped define an aesthetic that embraced the informality of Palm Springs and stressed clean lines, indoor-outdoor living, and the use of glass and other artificial and natural materials. "His modernism took the international style and warmed it up," said Peter Moruzzi, an architectural historian. "Stewart combined contemporary or modern with natural materials in a very sublime way," Moruzzi said. The bookends of Williams' five-decade career are among his best-known works. His first commission in Palm Springs was a house for Frank Sinatra in 1947. Half a century later, he came out of retirement to renovate and expand the Palm Springs Desert Museum, which he had designed in the 1970s.


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