Oct 14 - 26, 2018
13 days
$9,870per person, twin share (land content only). $2,170 supplement for sole use of a hotel room

Tour Leader

Stuart Barrie
Oct 14 - 26, 2018

Tour Leader

Stuart Barrie$9,870per person, twin share (land content only). $2,170 supplement for sole use of a hotel room
  • Tour Info
  • Itinerary
  • Tour Leader
  • Hotels
  • Inclusions


Explore the development of America’s unique mid-century modernist architecture and design on this new 13-day tour, from its early proponents, such as Richard Neutra and Albert Frey, to the master of international architecture, Mies van der Rohe. Enjoy “Desert Modernism” in Palm Springs and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West in Arizona; Columbus, Indiana with its unique collection of civic buildings; and Chicago’s modern masterpieces. Private guided visits to homes and major galleries, walking tours, concert performances and the rich history and culture of America in the modern era round out the touring program.


  • The development of modernist American architecture and design
  • Outstanding art collections at Chicago’s Art Institute and the Getty Center and The Broad, LA
  • The emergence of the western USA as a global economic and cultural force of the 20th century
  • Dramatic desert landscapes in Palm Springs and Arizona
  • The life and times of 20th-century “starchitects”, from Frank Lloyd Wright to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Richard Meier and Aero Saarinen


  • In-depth tours of Hollyhock House and Taliesin West, two of Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpieces
  • Visits of modernist icons, Charles and Ray Eames House in Malibu and Farnsworth House, Illinois
  • Tours of Palm Springs and Columbus, Indiana with their unique concentrations of modernist architecture
  • Concert performance in Frank Gehry’s exuberant Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • Docent-led tours of the Getty Center in LA and the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Chicago River cruise with the Chicago Architecture Foundation

Itinerary Overview

Days 1–3: 20th-century “starchitects”, from Frank Lloyd Wright to Neutra, Meier and Gehry.

Days 4–5: The marriage of modernism with desert landscape at Palm Springs’ Albert Frey House and Architecture & Design Center.

Days 6–9: Outside Phoenix, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, beloved winter home and architectural laboratory. In Columbus, Indiana, the “Athens on the Prairie”, Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei and Richard Meier.

Days 10–13: Mies van der Rohe at Farnsworth House and the Institute of Technology, Chicago’s outstanding Art Institute, architectural river cruise.

A detailed itinerary for this tour is available. Click on the link above to view or download.

Getting There

We recommend either Qantas or United, who both have daily flights to Los Angeles and from Chicago. Discounted fares are regularly offered, so please contact us for quotes and bookings.

Detailed Itinerary



Stuart Barrie

Is a director of Academy Travel and has over 20 years' experience in travel, including leading groups through western Europe, Russia and the United States.

He has a strong interest in history, and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Macquarie University and a Master of Commerce from the University of New South Wales. Stuart led a theatre tour to New York in early 2006, jointly offered by Academy Travel and the Sydney Theatre Company.

View Bio & Upcoming Tours


Hotels have been selected principally for their central location.

Tour Inclusions

What is included in the tour price? 
Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:

  • Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
  • Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate public transport is also used for short distance travel on some tours
  • All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
  • Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
  • Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
  • Services of tour leader throughout tour
  • All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Local guides at some sites
  • Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals

Airport Transfers

Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.

What is not included in the tour price?
Open-age tours do not include the following:

  • Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
  • Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
  • Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required
  • Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
  • Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity

Booking conditions

You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.


A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.

Cancellation Fees

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • More than 60 days before departure: $500*
  • 60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
  • 44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
  • 14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due

*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.

Unused Portions of the tour

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Travel Insurance

Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.

Passport and Visa

A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.

Will the tour price change?

If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.

Will the itinerary change?

Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.

Final Payment

Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.

Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller.

Fitness rating

Grade 2

A Grade 2 tour is appropriate for travellers in good health with good mobility, who can comfortably participate in up to 3 hours of physical activity per day on most days.
More Details


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Speak to a consultant

For further information or to secure a place on this tour please contact:
Jemma York 02 9235 0023 or 1800 639 699
(outside Sydney)

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