Hall Pass

The Lead



When Palm Springs Mayor Ron Oden was a City Council member, he often held meetings about important issues at Billy Reed’s, a restaurant on North Palm Canyon Drive, because the council had no office space at City Hall.

Today council members greet constituents and conduct business in a redesigned, light-filled space at City Hall that has contemporary working pods, a conference area, and storage space. “It’s so important for the council members to have a place to meet with constituents and not have private conversations in public places,” Oden says.

Interior designer David Reed’s $80,000 project — not a dime coming from taxpayers — even transformed the mayor’s office suite. “Everything — construction, artwork, materials, and furnishings — was purchased with private funds or donated,” says Reed, who offered pro bono services. “The point was to give the City Council members their own offices.”

When you enter the 1,900-square-foot suite — now three separate offices — the hand of an experienced designer appears obvious. The warm colors (mocha, cappuccino, and coffee), maple and black leather furniture, and custom cabinetry combine style and function — and make it easy to forget this is in a municipal building.

City Hall was built in 1957 and designed by several leading architects, including the iconic Modernist Albert Frey. To complement
midcentury roots, Reed went for clean and uncluttered — “classic contemporary and comfortable with lots of curved lines,” he says.

Reed demolished walls and added new ones, creating offices for the mayor, the City Council, and a clerk/receptionist.

Oden’s modestly sized office has three distinct seating areas, including a round conference table and sleek, black sofa.  The focal point is a large abstract painting behind Oden’s desk by Charles Cleeton, the artist whose painting appeared in the living room on the set of the television sitcom Fraser.

Incidentally, Oden has been collecting photographs of Palm Springs’ former leaders — including mayors Sonny Bono and Frank Bogert — as a tribute that will occupy a wall in his office.

The entrance to Oden’s office, off the reception area, makes a statement. Reed designed a glass enclosure with mitred glass corners and frosted glass and a wood door. “It’s a small technique that creates a big feeling,” Reed says.

The original sliding glass doors are the office’s exterior wall. Reed used a Luminette window treatment — a sheer drape that affords light and privacy” — to take advantage of natural light. The council offices also have Luminettes.

“An office like this adds a more professional dimension to the council,” says Council Member Ginny Foat. Council Member Steve Pougnet meets at City Hall several times a week, he says.

Artwork consists of images of local architecture, palm trees, hummingbirds, and flora — all framed in simple, black frames to complement Reed’s “business-friendly” atmosphere.

“Now the offices reflect the mayor’s personality,” says Martha Edgmon, executive secretary to the mayor and council. “They’re not overdone, yet they’re stylish and elegant.”

Edit Module
Palm Springs Life
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

2015 Academy Awards Viewing Party Red Carpet Gala - Feb. 22, 2015

The Shops on El Paseo hosted a Red Carpet Gala 2015 Academy Awards Viewing Party on February 22 at dedicated space within The Shops on El Paseo upscale stores. The event was a benefit for Palm Springs Women in Film and Television.

Ground Control to Major MOD

The Palm Springs Modern Committee lived up to its reputation for bringing the best, wildest, and most creative parties to Modernism Week.

Dinner with SHAG at Tinto - Feb. 16, 2015

Artist Josh Agle, better known to most as SHAG, whose artwork captures the essence of Palm Springs living and a modern lifestyle in his vividly-colored and sharply-rendered panels, was the featured guest at a dinner for more than 65 fans and collectors.

Three-Artist Exhibition at Melissa Morgan Fine Art - Feb. 14, 2015

In this series of exhibitions, Melissa Morgan Fine Art presents the newest body of work by highly sought-after painter, Andy Moses. The abstract works of sculptor, Brad Howe, will be featured along with the intricate, theatrical sculptures of Rondle West and the expressive mixed media works of Michel Tabori.

Happy CAMPers!!

Modernism Week kicked off its 10th anniversary with a fun, electrifying party Feb. 12 at Community and Meeting Place (CAMP), the festival’s new 30,000-square-foot headquarters on Palm Canyon Drive in the heart of Palm Springs.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Fashionista Friends

Fashionista Friends

Experience the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week El Paseo 2015.
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

Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Enter for a Chance to Win a Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert 2015 Grand Experience
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.