Palm Springs Preservation Foundation


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Quarterly Newsletter 3-2012

1. On August 18, 2012 heavy equipment commenced the demolition of the PSHS Administration Building (Wexler & Harrison, 1957). The many twists and turns of this advocacy are chronicled in detail at

2. On July 11, 2012 the Palm Springs city council unanimously approved the Class 1 Historic Site designation of the Kocher-Samson Building (Frey & Kocher, 1934). During public comment PSPF board member Erik Rosenow opined that "the historic designation of this important modernist building is arguably long overdue." The scholarly nomination was submitted on behalf of PSPF by board member Patrick McGrew. See

3. On September 9, 2012 PSPF sent a letter to the Palm Springs city manager reporting that transients had taken up residence in the historic Town & Country Center. The letter documented previous examples of the owner failing to secure the building and asked the city to “take more aggressive enforcement actions to remedy this problem.” See

4. The Chart House Restaurant (Kellogg, 1978) was extensively damaged by a suspicious fire on January 10, 2012. Addressing an inquiry from a technical consultant hired by the city of Rancho Mirage, PSPF is preparing a detailed response that will argue for either the rehabilitation or complete reconstruction of the building. To read about PSPF's continuing advocacy for this important historic resource see

5. Officials in the city of Palm Desert have approved a damaging "remodel" of the historic Desert Magazine Building (Harry J. Williams, 1948). On August 13, 2012 PSPF sent a letter to the Palm Desert city manager decrying the arbitrary modification of this historic resource. Most importantly, the letter provided extensive historical documentation that emphasized the importance of the highly-intact pueblo revival-style building. See

6. On July 11, 2012 an early morning fire occurred at the Carnell Building (Schenck & Williams, 1934). Despite the serious fire damage, recent reports indicate that the building will be rehabilitated. See

7. On July 10, 2012 the Historic Site Preservation Board voted to initiate the Class 1 Historic Site designation of the J.W. Robinson Department Store building (Luckman & Pereira, 1958). The modernist building won a major national award from the AIA shortly after it was constructed. The 37-page nomination, authored by board member Ron Marshall on behalf of PSPF, contains some interesting historical documentation including a photo of Liberace attending the department store's opening-day ceremonies. See

8. Welcome to PSPF's new administrative officer Mary Wexler! Mary will be taking over many of the essential administrative functions critical to the day-to-day operations of the foundation. Mary is a very active member of the Palm Springs community and has been an enthusiastic supporter of PSPF's preservation advocacy efforts. Thank you to volunteer Barbara Marshall who has steadfastly performed these duties for the last four years.

9. Although PSPF board member Gary Johns' special presentation of Lost, Saved & Endangered: Modernist Architecture in Palm Springs on Sunday, October 7, 2012 is already filled to capacity, there are still tickets available for Modernism Week's popular double-decker bus architecture tours. These events are being held in conjunction with DOCOMOMO's 6th National Tour Day. For tickets see

10. On Sunday, October 7, 2012 from 3-5PM, PSPF will host a ceremony in recognition of the designation of the Del Marcos Hotel as a Class 1 Historic Site. THIS EVENT IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and light refreshments will be served. See

11. Save the Date! From March 22-24, 2013 we will celebrate our “Leisure Life” Weekend which will recognize Palm Springs' unique midcentury condominium lifestyle. The tour will visit several complexes in south Palm Springs including Canyon View Estates and other notable condominium developments. See

12. Tickets are now on sale for PSPF's Modernism Week 2013 events. In addition to our popular Retro Martini Party, Frank Sinatra's Twin Palms Estate tour and board member Gary Johns' lecture, we are producing a special steel house tour which will showcase three steel homes built in 1937, 1962 and 2012. The tour, entitled Steel Modern After All These Years is sure to become an instant classic. For reservations and tickets see

A sincere "Thank You!" to our Contributors:

Preservationists ● Mark & Jan Hilbert ● Palm Springs Modernism Week ● Patrons ● Troy Kudlac ● Douglas MacBeth & Stan Deen ● Advocates ● Douglass Kopp ● Contributors ● Maureen Erbe & Henry Blackham ● Just Modern, Inc. ● Keith Kincaid & Chris Harms ● James Rosen ● Lawrence Wood ●

And to our 2012 year-long Partners:

Jazzercise ● Signs By Tomorrow ● Gary Wexler Design ● Casa Cody ●

1775 East Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 110-195, Palm Springs, CA 92264 (760) 837-7117

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