Last year Palm Springs, along with 47 other California communities, was cataloged by the National Trust as a “tear-down” city. Unfortunately, this dubious distinction is well-deserved and it is most likely the city will remain on the list. In June of 2009, in the face of developer pressure, the Palm Springs city council voted 5-0 against the Class 1 historic site designation of the Town and Country Center (1948) designed by A. Quincy Jones and Paul R. Williams.
While hundreds of successful cities across the nation have shown us the economic benefits of historic preservation, a handful of our citizens, and more unfortunately some of our elected leaders, continue to see our historic resources as difficulties rather than opportunities, as obstacles rather than assets. There is much education that needs to be done.
On a more optimistic note, we continue to receive kudos on our new website and we regularly add new content to keep it fresh and interesting. PSPF’s website also serves as our face to new members. Since launching the new site our membership has more than doubled. While some of these new members join to access our online Class 1: A Guide to the Designated Class 1 Historic Sites of Palm Springs booklet, the overwhelming majority of these new members are relying on us to keep them informed of emerging preservation issues.
Increased membership makes PSPF's job easier by making it difficult to dismiss us as a "special interest" group. In recent years preservation causes have become mainstream, non-political efforts championed by concerned citizens who realize that historic preservation not only improves our quality of life in Palm Springs but is also good for business and tourism.