The Palm Springs Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the history of Palm Springs. It is sited on the Village Green. This park like locale is set in a lushly landscaped portion of Palm Canyon Drive amidst a warren of shops, hotels, and restaurants. The site may be toured individually or on a guided tour. To arrange a guided tour the society should be contacts online or one may call them at 760-323-8297.
There is free parking available in the lot behind the headquarters off South Belardo Road between Barristo Road and Arenas Roads. The Society is open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. There is a $3 admission fee for adults. Children get to enter for free, but must be accompanied by an adult. This charge includes admission to the nearby Comela White House and McCallum Adobe, two nearby historic structures.
The Palm Springs region has long attracted musical talents both as a place to relax and to play music. In accordance with that rich tradition, the Historical Society is hosting an exhibit entitled “Chi Chi” after the famed nightclub where such luminaries as Cab Calloway and Ella Ftizgerald performed. In this exhibition, one may listen to live recordings of those two iconic artists along with hearing tunes from Sophie Tucker, Louis Armstrong, and many more. These recordings will take you back to the era of Swing when Big Band music was featured at many of the local resort hotels. Included are a number of instruments played by legendary performers.
Schedule of Events
The Historical Society is featuring a raft of exhibitions for the remainder of 2012. To begin with, there is a collection of Vintage Palm Springs Hotel brochures. This tribute to the ephemera of yesteryear is entitled, “Graphic Hospitality.” For history buffs of shopping, “La Playa” gives a photographic record of the development of one of the earliest shopping malls ever constructed called “La Playa.” The Society is also showing off its collection of paintings by Carl Eytel,Palm Springs first artist in residence.
A video presentation of the creation of Palm Springs first resort hotel, the Desert Inn shows throughout the day in the Society’s theater. The film traces the development of the site and shows how the hotel and close byFashionPlazahave evolved over the years.
Another video program playing regularly is called “Palm Springs Then and Now.” The film flips back and forth from how sites looked in 1946 compared to the way they appear today,
The Winfield Line,Palm Springs: a True Story of Our Time is part of a new gallery that the Society has set up devoted to color photographs. It features 75 color prints by Grace and Winfield Line that trace the history of Palm Spring from 1940 until 1980. It includes journals and a guest book.
There are also black and white photography exhibitions chronicling the region’s history and the Naïve American culture.
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