Desert Cities 

Mamie Van Doren Celebrates Palm Springs Connection with Exhibit

The Palm Springs Historical Society celebrates 1950s blonde bombshell and former Miss Palm Springs, Mamie Van Doren with the opening of her exhibit Oct. 25.

Explore Palm Springs: Jilly Rizzo

Jilly Rizzo, known as Frank Sinatra’s right hand man, opened his nightclub called Jilly’s in Palm Springs on Oct. 15, 1965.

Explore Palm Springs: Chi Chi Chef Ernie Glaser

During the 1950s, the Palm Springs Villager magazine ran a monthly recipe column entitled, “Gourmet at Large" featuring Chi Chi Chef Ernie Glaser, who organized a recipes contest.

Call of the Wild

The opalescent light and serene, wine-dark water with its ever-changing shorelines are but a few hallmarks of the Salton Sea’s beauty.

Explore Palm Springs: Tahquitz River Estates

Palm Springs pioneer developer Pearl McCallum McManus teamed up with Los Angeles developer, Paul Trousdale, and planned a 200-unit housing development that would stretch between Sunny Dunes Road and Mesquite Avenue.

Explore Palm Springs: La Plaza Shopping Center

Still a thriving shopping center, La Plaza breathes life into Palm Springs' downtown shopping district just as it has done for more than 70 years.

Explore Palm Springs: Merrill Lynch Building

On Sept. 11, 1971, the iconic Merrill Lynch building took its place among eight distinctive architectural treasures comprising the Palm Springs Financial District.

Explore Palm Springs: Aerial Tramway is Christened

On Sept. 12, 1963, 400 dignitaries came from all over the world to be part of the inaugural ride of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

Playing the Long Game

Host to six-plus decades of golf’s greatest names and games, the Coachella Valley’s singular influence upon the golf world may come down to one round of play.

Explore Palm Springs: Sportsman's Headquarters

In addition to owning Sportsman's Headquarters and its Palm Springs rifle range, Harry Mann and his wife Ruby were quite the hunters.

Explore Palm Springs: 139 Club

Opened in the early 1930s, the 139 Club was housed in what was a private residence in Cathedral City, and the name was derived from its numerical address.

Explore Palm Springs: Nightclubs Spruce Up for 1950-51 Season

In August of 1950, many Palm Springs restaurateurs and business owners announced major improvements they had made to their restaurants and nightclubs during the summer.

Explore Palm Springs: Fire Destroys El Mirador Hotel

An early morning blaze lit up the desert sky on July 26, 1989, destroying the historic El Mirador Hotel and tower.

Explore Palm Springs: Jack Freeman Serves Up the Stars

In the 1930s, Jack Freeman's time at the Village Pharmacy in Palm Springs brought him in contact with stars like John Wayne, Rudy Vallee, and William Powell.

Explore Palm Springs: Beating the Heat Before Air Conditioning

Summers in Palm Springs before air conditioning meant finding creative ways to try and stay cool.

Watch Our Top 10 Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Videos

Where should I eat in the Greater Palm Springs area? Watch our Top 10 Restaurant Videos to help you find the answer to that question.

Explore Palm Springs: Summer Baseball 1948

Summer baseball was an important pastime for villagers in early Palm Springs, who were too busy during the winter season to have time for recreation.

Explore Palm Springs: Shadow Mountain Club

The Shadow Mountain Club became a sought after address where members could enjoy the desert lifestyle in a country club setting.

Explore Palm Springs: Real Estate Boom of 1880s

The Colorado Desert settlements of Palm Springs, Palmdale and the Garden of Eden were part of a real estate boom that reverberated across the state between 1880 and 1889.

Explore Palm Springs: Summer in the City

Though they may not be apparent to an outsider, there are many alluring things about Palm Springs from June through August.

Explore Palm Springs: Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway began as a dream to view the Coachella Valley from the cool peaks of Mt. San Jacinto.

Explore Palm Springs: Fireman’s Fish Fry

Since the inaugural Palm Springs Fireman’s Fish Fry in June 1931, Palm Springs has annually supported its local fire fighters.

Explore Palm Springs: The Desert Inn

Palm Springs was a desolate desert landscape, but Nellie Coffman saw an oasis and built the Desert Inn in the 1920's.

Life in the Fast Lane

While great weather, golf, tennis, and architecture help define the good life, elegant, fast, and beautiful cars further define the Palm Springs scene.

Explore Palm Springs: City Becomes Democratic Hub in 1964 Election

Democratic voters made a significant gain in numbers in 1964, prompting Palm Springs to become a base to generate support for President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Reception to Celebrate Milt Jones' Life Set for June 4

A reception celebrating the life of Milton W. Jones will be held at the Hilton Palm Springs at 12:30 p.m. June 4.

Explore Palm Springs: Desert Wildflowers

Where have all of the wildflowers gone in Palm Springs? Drought conditions have made it rare to see even one purple Verbena or yellow Encilia flower.

Explore Palm Springs: 1939 World's Fair

Francis Stevens School in Palm Springs was chosen by the State Board of Education to be part of an educational exhibit at the San Francisco World's Fair.

Explore Palm Springs: Horseback Riding Through the Desert

Exploring the open desert around Palm Springs became an organized activity in the 1930s when a group of men went on an 85-mile trek.

Palm Springs Historical Society Tours "Frank Sinatra Neighborhood"

The Palm Springs Historical Society offers a walking tour of celebrity homes in the Movie Colony District referred to as "Frank Sinatra Neighborhood".

Explore Palm Springs: 1969 Pop Festival

The Palm Springs Pop Festival held in April 1969 resulted in crowd issues, a death of a 16-year-old boy and a stop to outdoor concert permits being issued.

Explore Palm Springs: Darryl F. Zanuck Estate

Home to movie mogul Darryl F. Zanuck for decades, this substantial estate was built in 1935 in the Movie Colony neighborhood.

Pioneers of the Honky-Tonk

Harriet Allen Lefevre, one of the original owners of Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, reminisces about the famed roadhouse’s rootsy beginnings.

Explore Palm Springs: Sunset Limited Arrives

Led by the brand new E9 locomotive, the Sunset Limited arrived in the Palm Springs Station on March 6, 1955.

Pearl Harbor Documentary Lets Veterans Say, "One Last Goodbye"

"Pearl Harbor, One Last Goodbye", which screens March 16 at the Palm Springs Air Museum, focuses on six survivors who return for the 70th anniversary of the attack.

Explore Palm Springs: Oasis Hotel to Palm Mountain Resort & Spa

The pool and spa at the Palm Mountain Resort & Spa have maintained their original shape from the former Oasis Hotel in 1964.

Explore Palm Springs: 1938 Flood

More than 75 years ago, Palm Springs was just about under water, which is in stark contrast to today's drought.

Explore Palm Springs: Celebrate President's Day

From Herbert Hoover to Barack Obama, the Palm Springs area has a history of attracting sitting presidents.

Explore Palm Springs: Thomas O'Donnell

Thomas O'Donnell's Palm Springs home built in the 1920s later became the clubhouse at the O'Donnell Golf Club.

Explore Palm Springs: Palm Springs International Airport

Up until 1950, then Palm Springs Municipal Airport covered a larger area than New York’s La Guardia Airport.

Explore Palm Springs: Alcott Home

Franklyn Alcott Jr. and his wife Polly built their Palm Springs home in 1925, which stands today and is occupied in the Mesa neighborhood.

Explore Palm Springs: Flood of January 1969

During a period of just three days in January 1969, more than 3.25 inches of rain flooded the streets and homes of Palm Springs.

Explore Palm Springs: Frank Sinatra Honors Father With Medical Library

Frank Sinatra raised the money to build the Martin Anthony Sinatra Medical Education Library in Palm Springs to honor his father.

Explore Palm Springs: Shirley Temple Bungalow

In December of 1937, 9-year-old Shirley Temple christened a bungalow the “Shirley Temple Bungalow" at her favorite vacationing spot, The Desert Inn in Palm Springs.

Explore Palm Springs: Snow? In Palm Springs? Yes, It Has

Contradicting everything you have been taught about weather in the desert oasis, it has snowed in Palm Springs.

Art of the City

Early landscape painters propelled the Palm Springs artists’ colony and transformed the area into a destination for the creative set

Explore Palm Springs: William Gargan

Palm Springs resident and actor William Gargan appeared in his first film in 1928, and by 1940 he had appeared in more than 55 motion pictures.

Explore Palm Springs: Katherine Siva Saubel

Katherine Siva Saubel became the dominant interpreter of Cahuilla history and culture in the Coachella Valley area.

Architecture Shows Seasonal Changes Happen in Palm Springs

In any climate, good planning and design account for environmental conditions and ecological soundness, so it stands to reason desert modernism responded to natural regional stimuli.

Explore Palm Springs: Date Groves

Many date groves were planted during the early days of Pal Springs, and they quickly became one of city's most popular commodities.

Palm Springs Air Museum Puts a Piece of History Back Together

A team at the Palm Springs Air Museum has been busy putting an F-105 fighter airplane back together in time for the museum’s 17th anniversary celebration.

The Heart of the City

For almost a century, city pioneers, Hollywood celebrities, and the fun-loving people of Palm Springs made Palm Canyon Drive a boulevard of dreams

Uncorking the Bottleneck

The mayor and a developer recall the wine summit that is now transforming downtown Palm Springs. Red wine played a big part in the coming rebirth of downtown Palm Springs.

Explore Palm Springs: Los Compadres Deep Pit Barbecue

In the spirit of the “Old West,” Los Compadres Ranch will celebrate Palm Springs' western heritage with a barbeque fundraiser Nov. 2.

Community Church Fire Brings Architecture's Value to Forefront

The recent fire to Community Church in Palm Springs is a reminder of the precarious nature of architectural assets and the impact of their alteration, damage, or loss.

Explore Palm Springs: Canyon Country Club

The Canyon Country Club included a posh $1.5 million clubhouse and championship 18-hole golf course when it officially opened in October 1962.

Explore Palm Springs: Deepwell Neighborhood

Near where the Deepwell neighborhood now sits off East Palm Canyon Drive in South Palm Springs was once a very popular destination: Deep Well Guest Ranch.

A Healthy Outcome at El Mirador

El Mirador Hotel opened its doors on New Year’s Eve, 1928, and quickly became a hot spot for Hollywood stars and the corporate elite.

Flying High at PSP

It began as a single dirt runway in the 1920s, grew and changed with the city of Palm Springs, and now thrives as a chic, tourist-friendly airport with international connections.

Pioneers & Influencers

Palm Springs attracts important people like desert shade draws roadrunners on a scorching day. It’s always been that way.

What’s in a name?

Someone looking at a topographic map of Mount San Jacinto State Park might wonder who was this Cornell character that has a peak named in his honor.

Where’s Crocker?

Steve Nichols recalls that his father, Culver Nichols, was on the first or second car on the tramway’s opening day.

Out of the Shadows

Everyone knows the names of the famous people who have lived in Palm Springs. Many others, the city boasts countless residents who have labored on the edge of fame and seldom gained recognition for their achievements.

The Stars Who Came to Desert Hot Springs

If Palm Springs lies below the radar for celebrities seeking a private retreat, Desert Hot Springs must be invisible.

Palm Springs at Play

Golf and tennis rule, but other sports — from auto racing to polo to baseball — have helped shape the character of this desert resort town.

‘We Thought of Ourselves as One Community’

Some of the best history, characters, and color of Palm Springs unfold in its distinctive neighborhoods from the traditional ones developed from the 1920s until shortly after World War II to the midcentury modern enclaves designed by now-iconic architects such as Wexler, Frey, Cody, Palmer and Krisel, and others.

Stars Align to Lead

Celebrities discovered Palm Springs long before it was incorporated 75 years ago. Here they let their hair down, relaxed in the sun, and began supporting local civic and charitable activities. For many celebs, it was a natural segue to local politics.

The Woman Leads

She led an all-women council that changed the financial destiny of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the California resort communities of Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage.

Men on the Forefront

The expeditions passing through the desert in the mid- to late-1800s saw only arid, barren land. It took vision and grit to see the possibilities of this land. What follows are some of the pioneering men who laid the foundation for today’s Palm Springs.

Building a Future, Preserving a Past

As you drive through Palm Springs on streets named Ramon, Tachevah, Tahquitz, the legacy of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians appears omnipresent. And it should. Those names and many others go back generations, tracing to the Native American tribe that made Palm Springs and surrounding areas its home long before white settlers developed the city as a resort destination.

Building on Last Century’s Innovation

In the mid-20th century, desert architects eagerly worked in a new, modern idiom — and Palm Springs provided fertile ground for their brilliant designs

Loretta Young at 100

Loretta Young discovered Palm Springs as a teenager and settled here 60 years later. She lived a quiet life, going to mass every day, occasionally dining at El Mirasol, and entertaining small groups of friends at her house in Deepwell Estates. In other words, she was just a local. But she was also Loretta Young.

The Beat Goes On

Sonny Bono, Palm Springs’ celebrity mayor, did more for the city than launch one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals. With a revivalist vision and an anti-bureaucratic cause, the star with a common touch embodies the city’s cultural and economic transition.

Creating a Racquet (Club)

The story has oft been that the Racquet Club began when Farrell and Bellamy had trouble getting on the tennis courts at the El Mirador Hotel.

Courtship Among the Pros

More of the world’s No. 1 tennis players hit balls at the Racquet Club: In addition to Budge and Marble, Ellsworth Vines in the 1930s; Bobby Riggs, Jack Kramer, and Pancho Segura in the 1940s and ’50s; Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Ken Rosewall, Stan Smith, Bob Lutz, Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert, Pancho Gonzales, Arthur Ashe, and Billie Jean King in the 1960s and ’70s.

The Birth of a Fountain

A Mexican father, a pioneer godmother and a staff of desert midwives brought the airport terminal's new "baby" into existence.

The Gourmet Gossip - O.L. McKenney

Tramway General manager and restaurateur O.L. McKenney shares a menu of customer favorites from the Firepit restaurant.

Merry Christmas and Bon Appetit

Stuffed roast turkey, plum pudding, fruit cake — these are the traditional food for Christmas dinner and whose delightful odors emanate from every kitchen about this time of year.

The Gourmet Gossip - Gary Sappington

Gary Sappington, free-lance chef, extraordinaire, prepares and serves divinely elegant fare for some of our most celebrated desert residents.

The Desert Riders

They are the true royalty of Palm Springs. Each Tuesday morning they emerge from the desert dawn, dressed in tailored riding pants and the customary — and not incidentally, custom-made — cambray shirts, set off by heavy silver collar points.

The Most Wives Club

The Gabors are to Palm Springs what fancy desserts are to a good meal: We could get by without them but they do add such a luscious finishing touch.

10 at 101

It has been said that "the important thing is not so much that everyone should be taught, but that everyone should be given the wish to learn." For more than 15 years, the Palm Springs Desert Museum has given that gift of inspiration.

The McCallum Centennial - Palm Springs' founding family.

The founding of Palm Springs might be placed at that moment in time when the educated son of an industrious Scottish farmer stood near the Indian Village of Agua Caliente at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains. Looking out across the desert he thought: "This land would be valuable if water should be brought upon it . . ." Little did he know how prophetic were his thoughts.

Steve (Stephen) Chase Q&A on Lifestyle

Slender and tanned, prematurely gray at age 38, interior designer Stephen Chase has already received a generous share of international recognition. His work has won numerous design awards and appears frequently in publications like "Architectural Digest."

Howard Hughes

Howard Hughes was a frequent visitor to the Palm Springs area for more than 30 years beginning around 1925. He stayed in a leased house or suites at the Racquet Club or Ingleside Inn, usually in the company of a young Hollywood starlet.

The Developers - Warren Coble

Coble put up some impressive buildings — buildings like Alan Ladd's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Las Casuelas Nuevas in Rancho Mirage, Ocotillo Plaza, Prickly Pear Square, Sinatra Medical Education Center, Canyon Hotel Racquet and Golf Resort and the Palm Springs Airport fountain and buildings.

The Developers - Ernest Hahn

Even someone who wouldn't know a developer from a dirt farmer can't help but respond to the name "Ernest Hahn." In the Coachella Valley you can hardly say "shopping center" without including some reference to the omnipresent Mr. Hahn.

The Developers - John Wessman

Wessman came to the desert in 1960 from "across the mountains" (Hemet) where he worked for contractors "on and off" from the time he was 10 years old. He began his Coachella Valley building career as an employee with Warren Coble and Arthur Press.

The Developers - Walt Colglazier

There's a strong rush of nostalgia in Walt Colglazier's John Wayne-drawl as he talks about the desert in 1937 — the year his father, who was a general contractor, brought the family to Cathedral City. It seemed like a good spot.

The Developers - Roy and Bob Fey

When Roy Fey moved his family to Palm Springs from Chicago in 1956, he intended to finish construction of the Desert Skies Hotel and then move on to other interests. Developments such as Canyon View Estates, Canyon Apartments, Canyon West Estates and Canyon Vistas Estates are all projects built by Fey

Lawrence Welk

It's 10:30 Tuesday morning in Studio 31 at CBS, and they're well into rehearsal for the umpteen-hundreth taping of the Most Unlikely Success Story on Television.

Dr Seuss - We Love Youse!

Dr. Seuss, really Theodor Seuss Geisel of La Jolla, California, is practically a household deity, from Masai huts in Africa to palaces in Great Britain.

George Hurrell

George Hurrell's camera, clicking since the 1930s, has created the ultimate atmosphere of romance and those archetypal images of men and women the world still cherishes.

Snow in Palm Springs? Snow That Stayed??

Yes Virgina, it has snowed in Palm Springs.

El Mirador - A Grand Hotel

It had 165 rooms to start with, and it once was advertised, with exuberant use of words, as "a magnificent palace of splendor." More simply stated — a true luxury hotel.

Robert Altman - One Dream Equals 3 Women

Robert Altman is either loved or hated. Either way, he probably is understood only vaguely. Hollywood's current most intriguing director is an enigma, more so even in person than on Celluloid.

There's A Dinosaur In My Chrysanthemums

Anyone who passes by Cabazon, a little town a few miles northwest of Palm Springs on Interstate 10, can’t possibly miss the life-size model of a dinosaur that towers above the desert floor.

The Secrets of the Road Runners

The Roadrunner cartoon character was especially drawn for Palm Springs Life magazine by the artists at Warner Bros. Jim Cornett, the curator of natural science at the Palm Springs Desert Museum, tucked a photo of a roadrunner and a photo of a bald eagle under his arm and ventured out onto the streets. His mission was to test the public's awareness of animals.

Walt Disney - King of Fantasy

Walt Disney, whose Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck brought laughter to the world and whose Disneyland is a playground for the world's people, calls his home at Smoke Tree Ranch, "my laughing place."

Fred Waring - Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!

As an attraction, Fred Waring has outlived any of the musical fads which sweep the nation for a fleeting moment, and his name remains synonymous with the best in high-caliber entertainment.

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Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

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