Explore Palm Springs: Palm Springs International Airport

Tourism growth spurs new terminal in 1966



Architect Don Wexler (left) explains the plans for the new Palm Springs airport terminal to Dave Hamlin in this 1960s photograph.

Courtesy of Palm Springs Historical Society

 

Remarkably, up until 1950, Palm Springs Municipal Airport (now Palm Springs International Airport) covered a larger area than New York’s La Guardia Airport.

During these years, DC-3s, seating between 20 and 30 passengers, were commonly used to carry visitors to and from Palm Springs. Howard Hughes would often berth his Convair aircraft at the Palm Springs Municipal Airport.

During the 1950s and early ‘60s, air travel became more popular while at the same time, Palm Springs tourism rapidly grew. Increased flights to and from Palm Springs made apparent the need for a new and more spacious terminal building.

In 1966, a new terminal was built to accommodate increased air traffic designed by architect Don Wexler.

There is a multitude of ways to learn more about Palm Springs, which turned 75 in 2013. One of the more intriguing methods is by exploring the city’s history.

The Palm Springs Historical Society will share a weekly story whose time and place corresponds with today.

The Palm Springs Historical is located at 221 S. Palm Canyon Drive. For more information, visit www.pshistoricalsociety.org

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