1. On September 18, 2013 the Community Church of Palm Springs (1935, Charles Tanner) was the victim of a severe fire. The church (featured on page 28 of PSPF's on-line Class 1 booklet) has been vacant for many years. Designated a Class 1 historic site by the city of Palm Springs in 1989, the church hosted a visit by then President Eisenhower and his wife Mamie in 1954. This fire comes on the heels of two other suspicious fires in important buildings: the historic Chart House Restaurant building in Rancho Mirage and the Carnell Building on Palm Canyon Drive.
2. On October 2, 2013 PSPF President Erik Rosenow wrote a compelling “Valley Voice” column about the future of the Town & Country Center. In the column, Rosenow applauds the city’s renewed interest in enforcing the Vacant Building ordinance and warns that unless pro-active measures are taken the Town & Country Center could fall victim to a suspicious fire like other Palm Springs landmarks. See http://www.pspreservationfoundation.org/pdf/2Oct13%20Desert%20Sun%20T&CC.pdf.
3. Also, in the wake of the Community Church fire, the mayor of Palm Springs asked the "preservation foundation" to identify five endangered historic buildings. On October 10, 2013, in response to the mayor's request, PSPF sent a letter that cautioned against “over-simplifying” the issue of vacant historic buildings in the city. PSPF called for a “strategic, rather than reactive” approach to this complex issue. The letter pointed out that it was PSPF’s view that the sheer number of historic buildings (over 200) coupled with the non-existent enforcement of the city’s Vacant Building ordinance demanded a more thoughtful and longer-term solution. PSPF also pointed out that it had met with senior city staff a year ago to express concern over the lack of enforcement of the Vacant Building ordinance. Finally, in response to the mayor’s specific request, PSPF identified five endangered buildings with the Town & Country Center at the top of the list. See http://www.pspreservationfoundation.org/tcc.html.
4. On October 13, 2013 the city of Palm Springs' Historic Site Preservation Board (HSPB) met to discuss the historic district nomination of the Racquet Club Cottages West (1959, William F. Cody). The HSPB voted unanimously (4-0 with one recusal for business reasons) to recommend the creation of the historic district to the city council. The HSPB then directed staff to prepare a resolution for review at the November HSPB meeting. To read the nomination prepared by PSPF board member Ron Marshall see http://www.pspreservationfoundation.org/raquet_club_cottages_west.html.
5. Read the inaugural "From the President" column by new PSPF president Erik Rosenow at http://www.pspreservationfoundation.org/.
6. The Charles Farrell Residence Garden Party is fast approaching! The event, which takes place on Saturday, November 16, 2013 from 4-6 PM, showcases a fully-restored 1934 Spanish eclectic architectural gem. This property was a favorite of PSPF's 2012 Desert Spanish Weekend which featured the house at the start of its extensive renovation. For tickets see http://www.pspreservationfoundation.org/Farrell_Residence_Garden_Party.html.
7. On Sunday, October 13, 2013 PSPF board member Gary Johns presented his popular lecture Lost, Saved & Endangered: Modernist Architecture in Palm Springs to yet another full house. If you have not heard the lecture recently, it contains significant new material and photos and will be presented again during Modernism Week 2014. See below.
8. Modernism Week 2014 will soon be here! Although PSPF's Retro Martini Party has already sold out, we have three other available events on the schedule: PSPF board member Gary Johns' acclaimed free lecture, a tour of Frank Sinatra's Twin Palms estate and a new event, "A Taste of the Leisure Life," which will feature the midcentury condominium homes of Canyon View Estates. For more information and tickets see http://www.pspreservationfoundation.org/modernism_2014.html.
9. This summer PSPF membership blasted past 2,000 strong! We thank you for your continuing support and enthusiasm!
10. After a brief hiatus, our Shop page is back up just in time for holiday shopping. A signed PSPF tribute journal is a great gift for the architecture buff on your holiday shopping list. See http://www.pspreservationfoundation.org/journals.html.
11. The city of Palm Springs continues to solicit applications from interested citizens for the important Historic Site Preservation Board. For more information see http://www.palmspringsca.gov/index.aspx?page=41.