Palm Springs Preservation Foundation


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Quarterly Newsletter 4-2009

1. PSPF has an exciting line-up of educational and fun events for Wexler Weekend (January 22-24, 2010). Tickets are selling fast and Friday night’s Wexler movie is expected to sell out first. See for details and tickets. We thank our many event sponsors and ask that you support them.

2. Our Retro Martini Party (Friday, February 19, 2010) event page has been launched at This year’s venue is architect John Lautner’s spectacular Elrod House. Check out our hip graphic poster and remember last year’s Retro Martini Party sold out early! Additional PSPF Modernism Week (12-21 February) events can be found at For a complete schedule of Modernism Week events see

3. Royal Hawaiian Estates (RHE) (designed by Wexler and Harrison in 1961) appears on track to become the city’s first residential historic district. RHE’s historic district application was recently approved by the city’s Historic Site Preservation Board and will soon go before city council. You can read PSPF’s letter of support for the RHE historic district designation on our Historic Districts page at

4. At the November 18, 2009 Palm Springs city council meeting, the Museum Market Plaza Specific Plan (which includes the historic Town & Country Center) was amended as follows: "No permit for the demolition or substantial alteration of any portion of the Town and Country Center will be issued until (a) all discretionary entitlements consistent with the Specific Plan have been approved for the renovation or redevelopment of the existing Desert Fashion Plaza; (b) building permits in furtherance of such renovation or redevelopment have been issued; and (c) substantial work consistent with such building permits have commenced on the existing Desert Fashion Plaza." It is PSPF’s view that this amendment guarantees the safety of the historic T&CC for the immediate future.

5. An enthusiastic welcome to new PSPF board member James R. Harlan. A Chicago native, Jim is a graduate of the USC School of Architecture and resides in a modernist home in Palm Springs’ historic Tennis Club neighborhood. As a PSPF advocacy volunteer, Jim helped secure a strong letter of support for the Class 1 designation of the Town & Country Center from the state of California’s Office of Historic Preservation.

6. The Historic Preservation Commission of the city of Rancho Mirage will sponsor a free lecture on modernist architect William Cody at the Rancho Mirage Public Library on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 7PM. The lecture will be given by architectural historian and PSPF board member Patrick McGrew who will discuss Cody's work, including his many Rancho Mirage projects.

7. PSPF is in the early planning stages of “Alexander Weekend Revisited, 2001-2011,” tentatively scheduled for early 2011. Nine years ago PSPF’s “Great Alexander Weekend” and accompanying tribute journal helped generate significant publicity about the Palm Springs tract homes built by the now-famous Alexander Construction Company.

8. The Palm Springs Visitors Center (in the Frey-designed Tramway Gas Station) is now carrying vintage PSPF tribute journals and our popular Class 1: A Guide to the Designated Class 1 Historic Sites of Palm Springs booklet.

9. A sincere “Thank You!” to our contributors: Patron ● Douglas Brinkley ● Advocate ● Janice Hall ● Marianne and Tom O’Connell ● Contributors ● Guy Brackett ● Bruce and Jody Clark ● William Hertel ● John Lamb ● Liz Malinka ● Kent Mathews ● Karol Lautner Peterson ● Jill Smith ● Sydney Smith

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