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Master of Palm Springs Modernism Gets a Houston Mod Moment — William F. Cody Keeps It Midcentury

Rediscover an Iconic Architect

BY // 11.07.22

Calling all disciples of architecture, modernism and design: An upcoming lecture cracks open an important chapter in the alluring tale of mid-century modernism. This Wednesday, November 9, Houston Mod — the nonprofit devoted to preserving and educating the community about the Bayou City’s mid-century architecture — presents a talk and book signing for Master of the Midcentury: The Architecture of William F. Cody (Monacelli, $60) at MATCH.

Cody was an icon of Palm Springs’ built environment at the mid-century. His prodigious output (1916 to 1978) helped define the Southern California desert city as an oasis of cool. The architect designed Frank Sinatra’s home in the Palm Springs suburb of Rancho Mirage in 1953, but the hospitality sector is where he excelled — swank country clubs, spas and hotels that helped spread his renown.

Key projects included the conversion of the Thunderbird Dude Ranch into the Thunderbird Country Club (1950), the Eldorado Country Club (1959), the Palm Springs Spa (1959) and the Palm Springs Spa Hotel (1963).

The authors of "Master of the Midcentury: The Architecture of William F. Cody" (Monacelli) come to town on Wednesday, November 9, 6 pm for an illuminating talk presented by Houston Mod at MATCH.
The authors of “Master of the Midcentury: The Architecture of William F. Cody” (Monacelli) come to town on Wednesday, November 9, 6 pm for an illuminating talk presented by Houston Mod at MATCH.

This new and definitive volume on William F. Cody’s work was penned by Los Angeles curator, writer and educator Jo Lauria; architectural historian and Cal Poly professor Dr. Don Choi; and the architect’s daughter Catherine Cody Nemirovsky, in from England. Cody Nemirovsky is the steward of her father’s papers and co-curator of the exhibition “Fast Forward,” organized on the centennial of his birth. Joining the trio is David Bucek, FAIA, Stern and Bucek Architects, and chair of the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission, who lends insights into the legacy of Cody in Texas. Houston Mod’s VP, architect David Lidsky emcees, while architect Kathy Heard leads the Q&A with Cody Nemirovsky. Supporter Cynthia Toles steps up as a lead sponsor.

Just in: Katie Nartonis, curator, filmmaker and 20th century art and design specialist will substitute on the podium on behalf of Lauria.

Midcentury Modern Architecture of William F. Cody, presented by Houston Mod with a reception, talk and book signing at MATCH, Matchbox 2 theater (3400 Main at Holman) on Wednesday, November 9 with 6 pm cocktails and a 7 pm lecture. Tickets are $10 for Houston Mod members and $15 for nonmembers. Get more info and tickets here.

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