Palm Springs has a rich and colorful history. The Agua Caliente Band of the Cahuilla Indians have called this area home for thousands of years. Even today, individual members of the tribe own half of the land Palm Springs, and over 20,000 homes and businesses sit on Native American land.
When non-natives migrated to the area from other parts of the country, they set up guest ranches and the early visitors to them were well-to-do midwesterners and eastern-seaboard folk who came to spend winters enjoying the temperate weather and participate in activities like horseback riding. Palm Springs had a decidedly western and cowboy feel to it well into the 20th century. Many quaint Spanish-style bungalows and villas built in the 30s and 40s still exist in neighborhoods like Old Las Palmas and Tahquitz River Estates, such as actress Marjorie "Ma Kettle" Main`s two-story home on Palo Verde.
Hollywood discovered Palm Springs and made it its playground in the 1930s when many movie stars had clauses in their contracts stipulating they be within 2 hours of the studio. Palm Springs, just 100 miles away, was at the outer boundary of that distance, and was a place where they could let their hair down and relax without the intrusions of paparazzi or anyone else.
By the 1940s several modernist architects had already built new and experimental homes here, adapting theories of the relationship of people to the landscape with the use of natural and available materials to create a new desert architecture. The post-war period was full of optimism and forward-thinking and the economic boom fed the rise of modernism in Palm Springs.
One of those architects, E Stewart Williams, convinced Frank Sinatra to abandon his plans for a colonial style house in favor of a sleek modernist manse. Erected in 1947, it still stands in glorious, yet under-stated grandeur in the Movie Colony neighborhood.
In the 1950s and 60s, vast tracts of homes were designed by William Krisel for the Alexander Construction Company in areas like Vista Las Palmas, Twin Palms, Indian Canyons, and Racquet Club Estates. And thousands more tract and custom homes were designed by the likes of Donald Wexler, Charles DuBois, Richard Neutra, Hugh Kaptur and others. Kaptur`s 1964 home for Steve McQueen in the gated Southridge community is a sight to behold, but there are more modest, yet no less spectacular, homes were built in the Deepwell neighborhood for the likes of William Holden, Jack Webb, and Julie London. In fact the variety and uniqueness of modernist homes in Deepwell is what draws many to live in that area of town.
The 1970s saw a vast mansion designed and built by John Lautner in the south end of town for Bob Hope. And Charles DuBois designed many of the 1970s homes for developer Roy Fey`s projects in Indian Canyons.
Before you buy a home or invest in any property in Palm Springs, its a good idea to familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods in town. Contact Greg to get detailed info on the different neighborhoods, their proximity to shopping and attractions and the prices you can expect to pay in each area.