Walter S. White, Ratliff farmhouse, La Quinta, 1956, demolished© Architecture &Design Collection, Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara
Desert Architecture of Walter S. White: It Began in La Quinta
The mid-century desert architecture of Walter S. White is experiencing a renaissance, with the recognition of the Alexander House in Palm Springs as a National Monument, and restoration of the Miles C. Bates house in Palm Desert as two of the highlights. But the little-known beginning of W.S. White’s desert architecture is found elsewhere: deeply hidden in La Quinta’s Cove, one can find the earliest buildings by White, and the intended sites for some of his most experimental designs. This lecture weaves together the story of White’s early life and work in the Coachella Valley from his slides and architectural drawings, adding new aspects to our understanding of mid-century desert architecture.
Volker M. Welter is a Professor at UC Santa Barbara, and received his Ph.D.from the University of Edinburgh. He has worked as architectural historian,archivist, and lecturer in history of architecture. His research focuses on Western architecture and urbanism from the late 19th century onward.