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Walk of the Inns in Palm Springs

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

December’s Season of Celebration & Sharing :P alm Springs Walk of the INNS !

The 16th Annual Walk of the Inns

The event, which runs from 5 to 8 p.m. today, is free, but participants are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for Toy for Tots and Well in the Desert.

The self-guided tour begins at any of the participating hotels listed below or at Palm Springs Art Museum, 101 Museum Way, which will provide free maps and flashlights for the tour.

Palm Mountain Resort & Spa, 155 S. Belardo Road

Chase Hotel at Palm Springs, 200 W. Arenas Road

Casa Cody Inn, 175 S. Cahuilla Road

San Giuliano Hotel, 375 W. Arenas Road

Andalusian Court Spa Villas, 458 W. Arenas Road

Old Ranch Inn, 200 S. Patencio Road

Korakia Pensione, 267 S. Patencio Road

Orbit In Hotel, 562 W. Arenas Road

Desert Hills Hotel, 601 W. Arenas Road

Palm Springs Tennis Club, 701 W. Baristo Road

Palm Springs Women’s Club, 314 S. Cahuilla Road

Del Marcos Hotel, 255 W. Baristo Road

Viceroy Resort Hotel, 415 S. Belardo Road

Calla Lily Inn, 350 S. Belardo Road

McCallum Adobe (Palm Springs Historical Society), 221 S. Palm Canyon Drive

     If you are looking for a great real estate agent in the Palm Springs area… let me  one for you! 


Kathy Schowe   760.333.8886  

Intero Real Estate Services in Old Town La Quinta☼ 



Palm Springs Historic Neighborhoods

Monday, June 20th, 2011

7 Historic Neighborhoods in Palm Springs

Palm Springs has a colorful history filled with celebrities, famous architects, Presidents, statesmen, and millionaires!

It all began in downtown Palm Springs in 7 special neighborhoods that are easy to tour and all within a few miles of each other.  Some of these special homes have been on the market recently including one that was formerly owned by Marilyn Monroe and Cary Grant’s home here.

If you want to grab a piece of Americana or Hollywood History… look no further than these 7 Historic Neighborhoods in Palm Springs!


Here is a summary of the neighborhoods as reported recently in the Desert Sun!

Movie Colony East

History/origins: As Palm Springs grew in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, the Movie Colony expanded east from Palm Canyon Drive toward what’s now Ruth Hardy Park and beyond. In contrast to the palatial estates in the Old Las Palmas area, this was where stars built smaller getaways. Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra all lived here.

Landmarks: Ruth Hardy Park

, the Frey House I on N. Via Donna and Sinatra’s E. Stewart Williams- designed home on Via Colusa.

Distinguishing features: A mix of styles, from midcentury modern to California ranch houses to walled estates. “We have more old movie stars than any other part of Palm Springs,” said Jim Franklin, former president of the Movie Colony East Neighborhood Organization.

Did you know: Filmmaker Cameron Crowe (“Almost Famous”) lived in Movie Colony East as a kid. Bob Hope owned two homes — one he kept as a guest house. 


El Rancho Vista Estates

History/origins: This subdivision was developed by Robert Fey with 70 houses designed by Donald Wexler and Ric Harrison in the 1960s.

Landmarks: Gateway Park, on Gene Autry Trail and Vista Chino, was built next to El Rancho Vista Estates.

Distinguishing features: A collection of midcentury modern and California ranch homes on the east side of Palm Springs International Airport. Most retain their original profiles.

Did you know: Fitness guru Jack LaLanne’s Palm Springs home was in El Rancho Vista Estates. Comic Andy Dick lived there, too.

Warm Sands

History/origins: Features historic homes that date back to the 1920s, long before the city was incorporated in 1938.

Landmarks: “Jungle Red,” a serpentine sculpture that sits at the entrance to the neighborhood at Ramon Road and Indian Trail.

Distinguishing features: An eclectic mix of small resorts, historic homes and the Ramon Mobile Home Park, which served as the neighborhood’s social center for years.

Did you know: Past residents include screenwriter Howard Koch (Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds”) and artist Paul Grimm and activist Cleve Jones. Actor/producer Wesley Eure is a current resident.


The Mesa

History/origins: Originally subdivided by developer Edmond Fulford in the 1920s for his vision of a gated community in the south end of the city near the Indian Canyons.

Landmarks: The gatehouse built by Fulford at El Portal and S. Palm Canyon Drive was recently given new landscaping. Also, the Streamline Moderne Ship of the Desert house on Carmelita Way.

Distinguishing features: An eclectic collection of architectural styles, from Spanish and adobe houses of the ’20s to the Donald Wexler “butterfly house” and Alexander midcentury moderns.

Did you know: Author Zane Grey (“Riders of the Purple Sage”), and actors Clark Gable and Carole Lombard had homes in the Mesa. Current residents include designer Trina Turk, actress Suzanne Somers, author Herman Wouk and singer Barry Manilow.

Tahquitz River Estates

History/origins: The Tahquitz River Wash gives this area its name. Most of the land was owned by Pearl McCallum McManus, daughter of the city’s first permanent non-Indian resident, John Guthrie McCallum. In 1947, she partnered with L.A. developer Paul Trousdale to build the houses that make up the heart of the neighborhood.

Landmarks: Before the concrete-lined flood control channel was built, Tahquitz River would occasionally flood and take out the bridge that crossed the creek. The wash, bordering a park on North and South Riverside Drive, now has a permanent bridge.

Distinguishing features: The Spanish Revival houses of Palos Verdes Estates along Palm Canyon Drive were built the early 1930s. The Trousdale Tahquitz River Estates are midcentury modern homes on large lots with walls of glass to take in the views of the San Jacinto Mountains.

Did you know: Dr. William Scholl, the famous foot doctor, owned a 10-acre estate in the old Palos Verdes Estates between Sonora and Morongo Roads.




Sunmor Estates

History/origins: The earliest mention of Sunmor Estates appeared in the October 1955 Palm Springs Villager magazine. The first houses were built by Robert “Bob” Higgins. The Alexander Construction Company took over building out the neighborhood when Higgins’ project went belly up.

Landmarks: In World War II, most of the Sunmor neighborhood was the western side of Palm Springs airport, which was used for the Ferrying Division of the Air Transport Command. Sixty-foot diameter concrete pads, or tie downs, dotted the area to keep planes at the ready to take off in case of another Pearl Harbor-style attack. The last remaining of these tie downs on Easmor Circle is a Class I historic site.

Distinguishing features: Most of the homes were built in the 1950s through early ’60s. Designers include William Krisel, Donald Wexler and Charles DuBois.Did you know: Former Palm Springs Mayor Frank Bogert lived in the Sunmor Estates home he purchased for about $16,000 for more than 50 years before he died in 2009. 


Historic Tennis Club

History/origins: This is one of the city’s most historically significant neighborhoods. Nestled up against the San Jacinto Mountains, this neighborhood was part of the land owned by John Guthrie McCallum, who tried to develop Palm Springs into an agricultural area. Early residents included Harriet and Harold William Cody (Buffalo Bill’s cousin), who built the Casa Cody Inn, and painter Gordon Coutts, whose 1924 Dar Marroc estate lives on as Korakia Pensione.

Landmarks: Actress Marion Davies’ Mediterranean-style villa has been completely restored and is now known as The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn. It sits across Tahquitz Canyon Way from La Vallauris restaurant in the house built by George Roberson, son of Palm Springs pioneer Nellie Coffman. And of course, the Palm Springs Tennis Club on Baristo Road, founded by Pearl McManus in 1937.

Distinguishing features: Architecturally rich, the Tennis Club neighborhood includes the Ojo del Desierto, built by Nellie Coffman for oil tycoon Thomas O’Donnell. The Ingleside Inn occupies the 1920s estate built by the Humphrey Birge family and turned into an inn by Ruth Hardy in the ’40s.

Did you know: Several of the inns in the neighborhood provided respite for famous visitors. Albert Einstein stayed at Marion Davies’ house; Winston Churchill is rumored to have been a guest of Coutts, as were early film stars Rudolph Valentino and Errol Flynn. Charlie Chaplin frequented Casa Cody.
Judith Salkin is a features writer for the Desert Sun.

If you are looking for a great real estate agent in the Palm Springs area,

Let me GOOGLE one for you!



Kathy Schowe 760.333.8886 ☼

Intero Desert Cities, La Quinta, California


Celebrate the Life of Steve McQueen at Melvyn’s

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

steve mcqueen


La Quinta Hotel Celebrates 85th Anniversary!

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

The La Quinta  historical society is celebrating the 85th anniversary of the La Quinta Hotel!la quinta hotel black white

Walter Morgan and Fred Ickes are said to have dreamed up the idea of a desert getaway.  It took them a year to find La Quinta, says Barbara Irwin, former Historical Society president.  Irwin will lead a walking tour and high tea Saturday, sharing highlights of the hotel’s evolution from the six-room hideaway Morgan opened in December 1926 to today’s La Quinta Resort & Club with nearly 800 casitas, suites and villas.

In the 1920s, Morgan purchased land called “Happy Hollow” by its original inhabitants, the Cahuilla Indians, to build a small, private retreat.

“It was never meant to be a hotel. It was his private seclusion for himself and his friends,” Irwin said.

But Hollywood celebrities flocked to the desert hideaway, 20 miles past Palm Springs. The rough desert roads often blew out tires on the town cars they rode in, according to hotel history.

“The philosophy of the stars was they went to Palm Springs to be seen and to La Quinta for seclusion,” Irwin said.

The hotel also featured the Coachella Valley’s first golf course. The nine-hole course was open to the public and cost $1 per round.

The course wasn’t maintained after World War II, Irwin said. The hotel closed spring 1942 and reopened under new owners in the late 1940s.

It became the center of life for residents in La Quinta, Irwin said.

“Mariachi festivals, Fourth of July parties — everything centered between the hotel and Francis Hack Park,” Irwin said.

A regular high tea, usually with sandwiches and petifores, was a popular tradition, Irwin said.

During the historical society’s tour and high tea Saturday, speakers familiar with hotel history will share stories in the rooms that remain from the original hotel.

Bob Buttaro, director of marking for the La Quinta Resort & Club, said the hotel may celebrate the 85th anniversary again in conjunction with PGA West’s 25th anniversary in the spring.


Annual Walk of the Inns in Palm Springs

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

palm springs walk of the inns

If you love unique historic properties and old hotles… the Annual Walk of the Inns is this Thursday!   Palm Springs Historic Tennis Club neighborhood will glow with holiday lights, red poinsettias and Christmas trees when the annual Walk of the Inns tour takes place Thursday, December 9th from 5-8pm… FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

An estimated 2,000 visitors will be offered coffee and tea, hot apple cider, and cookies as they learn about movie stars and other luminaries who slept in the historic boutique hotels and inns.

“Many local residents — some who barely know that the Tennis Club district exists — show up along with tourists and snowbirds,” said Frank Tysen, owner of the Casa Cody Bed and Breakfast. Tysen and Elissa Goforth, Casa Cody manager, are major domos of the event, now in its 15th year, which is “nice for the town and feels like Christmas,” he added.

The Tennis Club neighborhood, which has dozens of small hotels built between 1920 and 1960, begins one block west of Palm Canyon Drive in the heart of downtown Palm Springs. The area is roughly bordered by Tahquitz Canyon Way on the north to Ramon Road on the south, and Belardo Road to Tahquitz Canyon Way near the mountainside.

If you drive through the neighborhood, you’ll see high stucco walls and wooden gates but never see the beautiful courtyards that lie inside. Each hotel has a star-studded story to tell. The walking tour is a rare opportunity for a close-up view.

At the Casa Cody during the tour, you can sip Goforth’s famous cider and learn that the inn is the oldest continuously operated hotel in Palm Springs. It was founded in the 1920s by Harriet Cody, cousin to legendary Buffalo Bill. Since Tysen bought the original property in 1986, he has been restoring the inn and its many additions ever since, “a never-ending process,” he said.

A total of 15 properties are part of this year’s tour, including the  Palm Springs Art Museum, which will provide free parking and maps for the self-guided tour. Along with the hotels, the tour will include the McCallum Adobe on Palm Canyon Drive, the Palm Springs Woman’s Club, Spencer’s Restaurant and the Citron Restaurant and Bar.

U.S. Marines will be stationed at various locations to collect donations for Toys for Tots.


Stephens House: Tour a Classic !

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
Stephens House: Clark & Frey’s Modernist Residential Gem


Saturday, December 11, 2010 from 1-3PM to experience the Stephens House (1949), an early example of modernist residential architecture by the firm of John Porter Clark and Albert Frey. For students of both American popular culture and architecture, the Stephens House is particularly remarkable as it appeared in the September 1955 issue of House Beautiful where it helped introduce the idea of “The Family Room” to post-war America. Sited on a huge triangular lot in the Palo Verdes Tract, the deceptively large, single-story home has rarely ever been available for touring. Members of the Stephens family are scheduled to attend the event. Light hors d’oeurves and non-alcoholic beverages will be served. Tickets are available at
Stephens House

Tour Elvis Honeymoon House in Palm Springs

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Palm Springs Elvis Honeymoon House
Home Tour
elvis house front

Address: 1350 Ladera Circle
Palm Springs, Ca 92262

Guided tours are available through what is known as the Palm Springs Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway, highlighting the marriage of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, recognized by People magazine as one of the great romances of the 20th century.

A well-informed house tour guide explains the memorabilia and mentions the many interesting stories about Elvis and Priscilla, including the fact that Lisa Marie was born exactly nine months from the date of the honeymoon.

A short film features the highlights on the mid-century-modern architecture of this famous Palm Springs house plus interesting Palm Springs info highlights. A box lunch is available upon request and souvenirs are available for purchase. Visitors will be shown the famous “escape route” which left the press in front of the house speechless as the famous couple flew to Las Vegas to be married. Also, visitors will be treated to seeing old photographs of Elvis “in the Building.”

Elvis Presely Honeymoon House  in Palm Springs, California elvis  honeymoon window view
Address: 1350 Ladera Circle
Reservations in advance are required
Phone: 760 322-1192
Website: www.elvishoneymoon.coelvis honeymoon lrmelvis pricilla stone wall


Indian Palms Country Club– The History

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010
Known as the hidden jewel of the desert, Indian Palms Country Club and Resort is situated on a square mile just east of Palm Springs, offering sweeping views of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Indian Palms Country Club and Resort, deep rooted in American history, caters to both visitors and residents alike. Our resort features a tranquil boutique hotel situated on our 27 hole championship golf course, fine dining in our restaurant and full banquet and special event services. The experience continues with several upscale housing developments nestled amidst the grounds.

If you choose to stay for a weekend or even a lifetime, we invite you to share our tradition and live our history as you arrive as our guest and return as our friend.


In the 1930’s, Floyd Odlum (owner of Hollywood’s RKO Pictures) and his wife, Jackie Cochran (a world famous aviatrix) had a dream… a dream of an especially beautiful place in the desert. If our greens could talk, the stories they would tell! For decades Indian Palms Country Club and Resort has quietly been host to the rich and famous from around the world.

The young couple fell in love with the 640 acres, which is now home to Indian Palms Country Club and Resort. They purchased the land for less than $100 an acre, and built The Ranch House. Early the next year, the couple began construction of their home at the present location of our Golf Shop and Palm Terrace Room. Featuring timeless views of the beautiful Santa Rosa Mountains and plenty of sunshine, the couple entertained famous friends, movie stars, and presidents.

Abundant in romance and glamour, rich in history, Indian Palms Country Club and Resort has been called the “Hidden Jewel” of the desert. It’s grounds have been visited by many celebrities, famous friends, like Amelia Earhart, and presidents Eisenhower and LBJ.

Left, Floyd and Jackie. Center, the original ranch in 1955. Right, Jackie and Amelia Earhart.


Jackie Cochran
The famous aviatrix, was the first woman to break the sound barrier, and she did so flying solo over Indio. On December 17, 1971, she was the first living woman enshrined in the Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio. She, along with Helen Detweiler, the first Professional Golfer at Indian Palms, designed and opened the first nine holes here in 1947, presently the Indian Nine. In 1956, Jackie ran for Congress, however unsuccessfully. Jackie and Amelia Earhart were the closest of friends. Most of Amelia’s last few months before that fateful last flight were spent here at Indian Palms. She trained here, rode horseback, and used the pool, while making preparations for her last flight. Amelia Earhart disappeared in a flight over the South Pacific in 1937.

Floyd Odlum
Husband of Jackie Cochran, founded the Atlas Corporation, and helped develop the Atlas Missile Program. He also owned RKO Studios. In the late 1940′s he sold RKO Studios to Howard Hughes. It took one year to complete the negotiations and they were consummated here at Indian Palms. He was responsible for bringing many celebrities and dignitaries to Indian Palms Country Club.

If you are interested in learning more about Indian Palms Country Club & Resort, or would like to lease or purchase a home there… give me a call!  Kathy Schowe  760-333-8886


La Quinta Country Club History: The Beginning

Friday, October 8th, 2010

La Quinta Country Club History:  The Beginning, 1958

On the quiet desert floor below the majestic Santa Rosa Mountains an 18-hole Championship golf course is born!La Quinta Country Club early days

If you know the area… this photo is an amazing trip back in time.  No homes grace the tree-lined fairways and there are barely roads to the La Quinta Country Club.  The surrounding developments are just a dream…

the reality is La Quinta Country Club was here first!

The year was 1958… this is the story of a country club and a dream of building an oasis in the California desert.  The men who came here took this barren desert and created lush fairways, hacienda homes, sparkling lakes and a modern luxurious clubhouse.

From the the history of LQCC by Peggy Herz… These men bought La Quinta Hotel and 1,00 acres of land around it.  They knew exactly what they were doing.  “We went into this with our eyes open,” said a genial, soft-spoken Chicago attorney named Leonard Ettelson.  The hotel was small, quiet– and unprofitable.  We know it as The La Quinta Resort , owned and operated by the Waldor-Astoria Properties.  “We don’t expect to make money on the hotel, … but we do expect to make money off the real estate.”

Other posts on the History of La Quinta Country Club:  Frank & Lawrence Hughes~ The Designers

If you want to know more about the La Quinta Country Club, or the Palm Springs area, please give me a call or send me an e-mail.

Kathy Schowe  760-333-8886


Palm Springs Preservation Foundation Event–Oct 17th

Monday, October 4th, 2010

DeBrabant House – October 17, 2010

In March of 2010, the DeBrabant House at 982 North Avenida Palmas was designated a Class 1 Historic Site by the Palm Springs city council. PSPF will host a free event at the historic

residence from 2-4PM on Sunday, October 17, 2010.

A superb example of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, the 1929 DeBrabant House is sited on a large, beautifully landscaped lot in the Las Haciendas Estates tract. The original concept for the tract was to create a neighborhood of estate-sized properties in the Spanish Colonial style and in this regard the DeBrabant House fulfills all expectations. Due partially to the tract’s proximity to the famous El Mirador Hotel (a favorite stomping ground of the Hollywood elite), the area became a haven for actors and film executives and eventually became known as the “Movie

Colony” district.

The DeBrabant House is designed around a central courtyard (as is commonly found in Spanish haciendas). The entire complex is roofed with hand-made barrel roof tiles and features broad roof overhangs. Exterior walls of cement plaster are studded with native rock and painted off-white. The original casement windows and light fixtures still survive.

The house’s original owner was Madam Rachel de Brabant who acquired the property from her next door neighbor, the locally-prominent Dr. Jacob John Kocher. Rachel was the sister of Mr. Marius de Brabant, an important executive of various rail and shipping companies including the Los Angeles-Pacific Navigation Company where he served as the vice-president in the 1920s.

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