Uptown By Design

The Evolution of the Uptown Design District Continues With New Art Galleries, Boutiques, And Specialty Shops — And Even A Fully Revamped 1950s-Era Hotel

Design 849

Jessica Taylor Tudzin and Jules Moore

Big change often starts small. Such was the case in 2002, when fashion designer Trina Turk set up shop within a depressed section of Palm Springs’ North Palm Canyon Drive.

Indeed, the namesake boutique, featuring colorful apparel divined from the 1960s, produced the first spark of life in what would ultimately become the Uptown Design District.

Other pioneers to the area soon followed, among them the home décor shops Modern Way and A La Mod, whose iconic midcentury furnishings include Herman Miller chairs, curved Arco lamps, and vintage gold-trimmed barware.

The district galvanized with the addition of such eateries as Jake’s and Trio. But not until the past several years did something magically contagious sweep through this six-block, palm-lined stretch between Alejo Road and Tachevah Drive.

“In 2012 and early in 2013, we really started to see the district evolve,” says Chris Mobley, who owns the retro décor and accessory shop Just Modern. In just the last year, Mobley has witnessed the arrival of several new businesses to the Uptown Design District, including the Jorge Mendez Gallery, specializing in contemporary Latin American art; Pelago, offering contemporary lighting and tabletop accessories; Highest Form, a designer-owned urban apparel store; and the 11,000-square-foot Design 849, presenting an eclectic mix of urban modern, glam, and bohemian-chic art, home furnishings, and accessories.

Also new are The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five, a design collective occupying the historic Harold Hicks building, whose clean architectural lines inspired Julius Shulman to photograph it in 1959.

“We wanted to do something similar to Fred Segal in Los Angeles, with several proprietors under one roof,” says Stephen Wilson. Wilson and his partner, Brandon Hoskins, founded and opened the collective in February 2013 with three stores, including their own shop Towne, which features vintage and modern furniture and accessories.

Last November, the collective added its 10th occupant, Dawn Stein Interior Design, offering vintage furniture and gift items. Other shops include the M & JJ Art Gallery, Savage Home, and Lindy 2 Vintage Jewelry.

For visitors who want to stay uptown, the boutique Skylark Hotel opened in December 2013 with new owners and fully revamped to its original 1955 glory, replete with primary colors and reproductions of midcentury Danish walnut furnishings throughout all 29 rooms.

No doubt the hotel’s centerpiece, the 24/7 swimming pool, will serve as an über cool end to a day hunting for hot vintage treasures.

Comments to this website are moderated by staff. While all comments are welcome, we encourage all to be polite and please do not use this system for advertising or business promotions. Any complaint towards a business or service should be directed directly to that business and not posted here. If anyone has a complaint that a comment is defamatory, please contact me at tmay@palmspringslife.com and I will take appropriate action promptly. Thank You

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Palm Springs Life
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Out Scouting

From the modern home boutiques in Palm Springs to the midcentury-infused Uptown Design District and remodeling showrooms across the Coachella Valley, our editor selects her favorite furniture, accessories, and design ideas for the season.

The Desert's Best

Here are the Readers' Choices for: Best Pizzeria, Best Continental Restaurant, Best Outdoor Dining, and Best Place for Women's Apparel.

High Gear

indiGO Auto Group is about to become the only location in the country representing every British luxury and performance car with the recent addition of McLaren Automotive to the Rancho Mirage autoplex.

The Nose Knows

Before Patti Franco-Brown and her husband David Brown gave it new life in 2012, Primal Mist's short perfume run drew a who’s who list of customers that included business moguls, royalty, and Hollywood A-listers.

Pattern Play

Halle Berry, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, and Paris Hilton have all been seen wearing Palm Springs resident Candice Held’s exquisite, one-of-a-kind dresses crafted from vintage scarves.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

Romantic Palm Springs Getaway

Romantic Palm Springs Getaway

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couples getaway
Cartoon Caption Contest

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.