Preservation Month

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HSPB Annual Event

EVENT: April 15, 2018

Main Event Program - "How Did Hollywood & World War II Influence Palm Springs History & Architecture"

The 5th annual celebration of National Historic Preservation Month hosted by the Palm Springs Historic Site Preservation Board! This free event is comprised of 3 parts:

  1. An afternoon symposium at the Convention Center,
  2. Attendance to one of nine walking tours at various locations throughout the City, and
  3. An after event gathering at Eight4Nine Restaurant.

Space is limited and your reservation is required for each of the 3 parts. Tour registration and after event are reserved for those who register and attend the symposium. However, one can register for the symposium only without selecting a tour or after event ticket. Please review the event program and find the link to register at the bottom of this page.

Breaking News!
TRINI LOPEZ has accepted our invitation to be the Guest of Honor
and will address the audience at the event.

Time (PM)
 Schedule of Events
Registration & visit of architectural & preservation organizations
Welcome by Gary Johns & Mayor Moon
Key Note: Atomic Ranch—Editor Sara Jane Stone
“How did World War II Influence Architecture and Design”
2:30 Panel - Moderated by Rene Brown
“How did Hollywood influence Palm Springs History & Architecture?"
Panelists—Hugh Kaptur, Nelda Linsk, Barbara Foster, Sidney Williams
The Evolution of the Iconic El Mirador Hotel—Jade Thomas Nelson
Howard Lapham Presentation--Richard and Debra Hovel
4:00 Honor Awardees and their projects--Gary Johns
Break for tours (see options below)
Attend one of nine tour options (see below)
After Event Celebration at Eight4Nine Restaurant


 -- Symposium --

PS Convention Center
Registration required and limited to 350 attendees
Event parking is available in the Andreas lot which is southwest of the Convention Center (west of the Renaissance) and nearest to the Primrose Ballroom as well as the Avenida Caballeros lot.

The event kicks off at the Palm Springs Convention Center with a symposium on how Hollywood and World War II influenced the history and architecture of Palm Springs as we know it today. Registration begins at 1:00PM and the symposium starts at 2:00PM in the Primroose Ballrooms. We advise coming early to visit the Organization tables. At the conclusion of the symposium, attendees will break for one of nine tours throughout the City.

 -- Tours --

 Various locations throughout the City
Ticket reservations required and are first come, first served basis
  Address for some tours provided upon registration

After the symposium, event attendees have the option to attend one of nine walking tours. All tours start at 5:00PM on April 15th and attendees are responsible for transportation to and from each tour location. Space is limited to 30 attendees per tour, so ticket reservations are required.  Please be advised that bathroom facilities are not available on tours; shoe covers/booties may be required; and photos may not be taken on some tours.

Tour 1: Amin Casa - The Gloria Swanson Estate 

Amin CasaLimited to 30 tickets -- Luxurious Living in Palm Springs! This impressive property was built for Pearl McCallum, an early Palm Springs pioneer. The property was sold to Gloria Swanson, (1899 – 1983) an American actress and producer best known for her role as Norma Desmond, in the critically acclaimed 1950 film "Sunset Boulevard". The garden compound, comprised of six bungalows and the main residence, dates to the 1920s-1930s and has been meticulously restored and lovingly maintained. (Tour info: Shoe booties not required and photo allowed.)

Tour 2: Bob Hope's Original HomeBob Hope Orig Home

Limited to 30 tickets -- You are invited to share memories of the first house purchased by Bob and Delores Hope in Palm Springs!  This Spanish-style Ranch House and Casita was built in 1936 and acquired by Bob Hope in 1941.  This was Bob and Dolores’ original Palm Springs home which remained in the Hope Family for 72 years.  Listen to the music of the Classic Bob Hope Radio Show as you explore the vintage Spanish cottage, casita and gardens.  This is where their love affair of Palm Springs began...always a favorite place for friends and family and now the home of Robert and Kris Weinshilboum who will be on hand to answer questions.  After viewing the home, join Kris at her unique shop, Bungalow 17 Studio located in one of the La Plaza bungalows which is another piece of Palm Springs History. (Tour info: Photos allowed.)

Tour 3: Las Palmas Frey Restoration, a Class 1 Historic designated site

Las Palmas Frey Restoration Limited to 30 tickets -- The Mr. & Mrs. Carl E. Haymond Residence was constructed in 1964 and designed by the architectural firm of Frey & Chambers. Carl Haymond was a prominent TV and radio station owner in the Pacific northwest, who fell in love with Palm Springs and eventually built his dream home in the Las Palmas Estates tract. The home's most notable architectural feature is the use of cast aluminum grille units to screen out the desert sun. Designed by architect John deKoven Hill, over 170 of these decorative, but functional, grille units are used throughout the residence. (Tour info: Photos allowed.)

Tour 4: Behind the Green Wall of The Desert Star, a Class 1 Historic designated site

The Desert StarLimited to 30 tickets -- Learn firsthand from owners of The Desert Star, Richard and Debra Hovel as they point out original minute details designed by Howard Lapham that have been carefully protected. Built in 1956, It was one of Lapham’s earliest projects in the Palm Springs area.

Lapham's work included the Manzanita House in Deepwell and the Rockstrom Building in Palm Springs. He also designed the Charlie Swanson Residence and the Debbie Reynolds Residence. His most famous renovation was the Chi Chi Nightclub in 1959. Many of his residential projects tended to be on a large scale which included the 11,000 sq. ft. Mayan-themed Cook House, known as Ichpa Mayapan, in Thunderbird Heights in 1970 & another in the Movie Colony along with several in Thunderbird. (Tour info: Shoe booties not required and photos may be taken.)

Tour 5: Hidden Paradise of Showbiz Legends in the Mesa

The MesaLimited to 30 tickets -- This beautiful secluded hillside neighborhood has long been home to the Hollywood elite (Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner, Cher, Joseph Cotten, among others). Many have been celebrities from the World of Music - singers, composers, lyricists and musicians. Today Barry Manilow and Suzanne Somers continue to reside here. 

The Mesa is tucked away at the bottom of the San Jacinto Mountains. It is perhaps our most eclectic neighborhood with its amazing variety of architecture. It ranges from the romantic Spanish Colonial Revival of the 1920's to today's dramatic contemporary styles.  One of our crown jewels of desert architecture, Ship of the Desert, is located in this neighborhood.  You will find this neighborhood a true "slice of paradise".  (Tour info: Wear comfortable shoes, bring water, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat is advised.  This tour involves a lot of walking.)

Tour 6: Morse/Gand House

Morse/Grand HouseLimited to 30 tickets -- The mysteriously private white rock and breeze block exterior with the terrazzo sidewalk give only a hint of what is to come when you visit one of the most architecturally unique homes in the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood. The Morse/Gand Residence (1960) started life as an Alexander tract home designed by Palmer & Krisel. In 1961, the Morses commissioned renowned Los Angeles architect Harold "Hal" Levitt to glamorize and expand the home turning it into a Hollywood-style "entertainment residence." The Morse Residence is considered by many to have the best pool and bar entertainment combo in Palm Springs, creating an amazing flow through huge walls of glass from indoors to outdoors. (Tour info: Shoe booties will be required and photos may be taken.)

Tour 7: The Barrett Residence (William Holden Deepwell Estate)

Barret/William Holden EstateLimited to 30 tickets -- The house was built in 1955 in a post and beam Style. It is nearly 5000 square feet which consists of five bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms. The house itself spans across two lots and the backyard has an additional two lots making it a very unique property. Due to the overall horizontality, some preservationists have called the house the most expansive post and post-and-beam they have seen. William Holden, Academy award-winning actor, made it his desert home for over 10 years. In 2012 , the home was in horrible disrepair and world-renowned designer Rodrigo Vargas reimagined the Interiors of the home but returned the architecture to its original footprint. The home is now being considered for a Class 1 historic status to assure its future. The proud owners will be your hosts.  We will divide into two groups for a more personalized experience. (Tour info: Shoe booties will be required and photos may be taken.)

Tour 8: Evolution of the Iconic El Mirador Hotel, a Class 1 Historic designated siteEl Mirador Tower

Limited to 30 tickets -- The most iconic image of the famed El Mirador Hotel is its landmark tower. The CAMPANILE is closed to the public, but will be opened for the HSPB to allow for a limited number of guests. Thirty attendees will enjoy a brief 30-minute power-point on the historic EL MIRADOR, then three groups of ten will be afforded the rare chance to climb the tower’s steps to the observation deck above. Don’t miss this opportunity! (Tour info: Shoe booties not required and photos may be taken.)


Tour 9: Deepwell Residences by Howard Lapham

Limited to 30 tickets -- This tour has two homes which are around the corner from one another.

Lapham Residence, Home 1House #1: This custom designed Deepwell residence was built in 1955 for Oscar winner, Bud Furer and according to the original owner's daughter, thought to be designed by Lapham. The current homeowner's uncle, financier Jess Metcalf bought it in 1969 for his singer/songwriter wife Pony Sherrell & remodeled in 1970, utilizing designer Steven de Christopher Sr. Most rooms are symmetrically juxtaposed creating a sense of flow. The St. Charles kitchen, with mustard yellow Formica cabinets in the Hollywood Regency style installed in 1970 are still intact along with several bathrooms featuring original sunken tubs & tile as well as a striking kidney-shaped coffee table built into the foundation.  (Tour info: Shoe booties required and photos may be taken.)

Lapham Residence, Home 2 for TourHouse #2: Built in 1958, the home has maintained most of the exterior architectural elements that were found in earlier photographs from various historical sources. The home is approximately 2,200 sq. ft. and is known for its asymmetrical lot position and glass-with-stone facade. The interiors boast original terrazzo floors after multiple layers of materials were removed. Modern updates to an expanded kitchen which required the partial removal of one wall are very well executed which reflect a more European style.  The homeowners, who lived in France and Switzerland for many years have curated a very interesting eclectic collection of art. (Tour info: Shoe booties not required and photos may be taken.)

Tour 10: A Restored Herbert Burns Home in Deepwell

Herbert Burns Deepwell Home - Front Facade of Home Limited to 26 tickets -- Architectural designer Herbert W. Burns is well-known for his innovative apartment hotels, many of which are in the Tennis Club neighborhood (The Hideaway, Orbit In, Desert Hills). But Burns also designed several custom single-family homes in the Coachella Valley in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. The Slayman-Bock Residence, 1950 in Deepwell Estates is being restored to its original condition, including the original paint palette (Burns was an accomplished color consultant). One of the owners of the house recently wrote a biography of Burns, which was recently published by the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation. The house is furnished in period appropriate furniture designed by Gilberte Rohde, the man who introduced modernism to the Herman Miller Furniture Company. (Tour info: Shoe booties not required and photos may be taken.)



Register Here

REMINDER: Tours occur simultaneously and you can only attend one with a ticket. When registering, select only one tour. Multiple tour selections will result in loss of reservation.


Have additional questions? Contact the Planning Department at 760-323-8245 or send us an email.