1. On January 15, 2014 the Palm Springs city council directed the city staff to prepare an amendment to the city's historic resources ordinance (Chapter 8.05 of the Palm Springs Municipal Code) expanding the definition of a "Class 3" structure to include buildings constructed prior to 1969 (currently the definition only extends to pre-1945 properties). In short, a Class 3 building is considered intrinsically valuable due to its age and this proposed change recognizes the importance of the city's midcentury building stock. The practical effect of this change will mean that the city's Historic Site Preservation Board will be required to review all demolition permits for pre-1969 structures greatly strengthening the city's preservation ordinance. Making public comment in support of the proposed amendment were PSPF board members Gary Johns and Ron Marshall.
2. Also at the January 15, 2014 Palm Springs city council meeting, the council voted unanimously (5-0) to approve an amendment to the Palm Springs Zoning Code to establish an exemption for Class 1 historic structures from parking requirements for new uses. This change in the zoning code provides relief from current, sometimes onerous, parking requirements and will make Class 1 historic properties more desirable to new tenants and developers. PSPF applauds the city for further incentivizing the rehabilitation and reuse of historic properties.
3. PSPF board members Susan Secoy Jensen and Jim Harlan recently uncovered the "as-built" drawings for the Town & Country Center (1947, Paul R. Williams & A. Quincy Jones) at the UCLA Library (Special Collections). These drawings will be critical to any future rehabilitation of this important structure. PSPF is also investigating converting these paper drawings to an electronic format with the help of computer-aided design (CAD) software. We will keep you apprised as we continue to explore the UCLA library for additional information about the Town & Country Center which is located at the core of our evolving downtown. To read more about PSPF's ongoing advocacy for the rehabilitation of the Town & Country Center see http://www.pspreservationfoundation.org/tcc.html.
4. On November 20, 2013, the Palm Springs city council voted unanimously (4-0 with one recusal for business reasons) to make Racquet Club Cottages West (RCCW), today known as "Racquet Club Garden Villas," the city's newest historic district. To see new and vintage photos of the RCCW complex and to read the 51-page nomination see http://www.pspreservationfoundation.org/raquet_club_cottages_west.html.
5. Modernism Week 2014 is around the corner! Be sure to stop and say hello to us at PSPF's Modernism Show booth on February 14-17. On Saturday, February 15 at 2PM, tribute journal authors Jim Harlan (The Alexanders: A Desert Legacy) and Erik Rosenow (The Architecture of Desert Leisure) will be at the booth for a book signing. Tickets are still available for our free lecture, Lost, Saved & Endangered: Modernist Architecture in Palm Springs, our "A Taste of the Leisure Life" house tour which will feature the midcentury condominium homes of Canyon View Estates, and our Frank Sinatra Twin Palms estate tour. For more information and tickets see http://www.pspreservationfoundation.org/modernism_2014.html.
6. PSPF played a pivotal role in the designation of Palm Springs' first two residential historic districts, Royal Hawaiian Estates (RHE) and Racquet Club Garden Villas (RCGV). During Modernism Week 2014, both of these historic condominium complexes will be featuring home tours with part of the proceeds intended to reinvest in the maintenance and rehabilitation of the historic architecture. For RHE tickets see http://www.modernismweek.com/event/details/247602/. For RCGV tickets see
7. PSPF's Facebook page is over 1,500 strong and is a great way to keep abreast of PSPF's advocacy initiatives and upcoming events. Check us out at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Palm-Springs-Preservation-Foundation/265182078077.