Architecture Events

Walker Guest House Replica to be Auctioned at Palm Springs Modernism Week

The full-scale replica of Paul Rudolph’s iconic vacation home had been on display at the Ringling Museum from 2015-2017.

By Ilene Denton February 13, 2020

The Walker Guest House replica when it was on exhibit at the Ringling Museum in 2015-2017.

The full-scale replica of Paul Rudolph’s iconic Walker Guest House that thousands of people toured when it was on display on the grounds of the Ringling Museum from late 2015 through mid-2017, is being auctioned off to one lucky architecture aficionado.

The auction date is Feb. 25, and details can be found here.

A project of the Sarasota Architectural Foundation, the Walker Guest House went on loan to the Palm Springs Modern Committee in 2018 for display at the enormously popular annual Palm Springs Modernism Week. Some 60 volunteer SAF docents had led more than 57,000 people through the replica at the Ringling Museum, many of whom made special trips to Sarasota for the experience, when it was on display there.  

The original guest house—an ingenious 24-foot-square pavilion with walls made of wooden flaps that raised and lowered via pulleys—was designed and built on a patch of beach on Sanibel Island by Rudolph in 1952 and 1953. His clients were Dr. Walter Walker and his wife of Minneapolis, whose family donated the money to create one of the nation’s most acclaimed contemporary art museums, the Walker Art Center.

The replica is being auctioned partially furnished with reproductions of the original daybed, bookshelf/room divider and living room table Rudolph designed for the guest house as well as a desk by midcentury modern furniture designer Paul McCobb. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the educational and preservation programs of both SAF and the Palm Springs Modern Committee.

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