Saturday, June 04, 2016

Palm Springs in the 50's

On this "Anything Goes Saturday" we return to Palm Springs in the 1950's! I have a small group of nice Kodachrome slides that I'll be doling out over the next few months.

Palm Springs has been a popular vacation spot for those who love golf, tennis, horseback riding,  lounging by a swimming pool, enjoying the view of the nearby mountains and the clean desert air... it's quite a place, as long as you don't mind the heat. 

 What was I saying about heat? Judging from the coats (and even a scarf), this must be a relatively cool winter day. But look at that brilliant sunshine and vivid blue sky! The ladies like a little color in their wardrobe, while the guys prefer grays, browns, and a little blue if they're feeling adventurous. I wish I knew what the buildings were in the background - I'm guessing it's their hotel. Chances are this is long-gone.

The photographer clearly found the local shops very appealing, as he snapped more than a couple of photos of various establishments. Here's the "Cork and Bottle", in a style I like to call "Mini-Art Deco". Next door is a bar with a TV! Why would anybody want a TV in a bar?! In my day we had puppet shows, and it was good enough for us.

Just a bit further up the street (past Matthew's - whatever that was) we have Dorothy Gray, where (apparently) ladies could buy fashionable clothes for all occasions. I wish I knew where this was exactly, but the town seemed to have a very cute small town vibe.

I hope you have enjoyed these photos of Palm Springs!


Nanook said...


That first shot is another 'keeper'. Love the expression on the gentleman on the left, wearing his hat at a rakish angle. He looks like loads of fun at a party-!

And not only do we know where the Cork 'n Bottle is located (342 N. Palm Canyon Dr.) it's still there-! And the building has a Historical Site Marker declaring:

"A rare example of a Depression Era Art Moderne style building in Palm Springs. The double and triple bands of horizontal 'streamline' moldings, flat unembellished blocky wall surfaces, and symmetrical facade are characteristics of the Art Moderne style. Originally Simpson's Radio & Frigidaire Company, The Cork 'n Bottle has occupied the building since 1950.

It also appears Dorothy Gray (364 N. Palm Canyon Dr.) opened her "smart shop" on November, 16, 1946.

Thanks, Major, for these fun images.

Nanook said...

Oh, yeah...

That's a 1953 Chrysler on the left and a 1951 or '52 (possibly a 1950) Plymouth station wagon.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, that building in the background of the first pic is the Town & Country restaurant. The name is hidden in the shadows that the palm trees are casting on the building. Apparently the restaurant was built in 1948 and was originally called the Top of the Ramp. It was built "as the focal point of a chic shopping center" called The Center. You can view vintage and current pics of the center and the restaurant, as well as read about it's design and original tenants here:

The Center - Palm Springs

It looks like they have tweaked the landscaping and the architecture here and there and an awning was added over that staircase in the background, but at least it's still standing! And "In 2004, the Palm Springs Citywide Historic Resources Survey identified the Town & Country Center to be one of the most historically important buildings in Palm Springs"!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the work, Major. I suspect there's a bit of work behind every shot you share: scratches removed, color corrected, etc...

Great detective work from N. and TM. I love architecture and design but I see something geometric and say, "Oh, Art Deco." Apparently not so. Now I have a new term to use with the ladies while I watch TV at the bar. Thanks guys.

K. Martinez said...

Love the first image. Gorgeous color. Thanks, Major.

Snow White Archive said...

Nice. It's super cool if the Cork & Bottle is still there.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, wow, amazing that the Cork ’n Bottle (love that apostrophe) is still there! Think of the oodles of corks and bottles that have been sold there. Don’t ask for a jar, though… you’ll be thrown out.

Nanook again, thanks to your car ID skills, we know that this is at least from 1953!

TokyoMagic!, it sounds like Palm Springs cares a lot about the historical buildings, based on the few that are pictured here - with all of the development over the years, I just assumed that the old buildings were disposable.

Patrick Devlin, while I often do spend a lot of time cleaning up old slides, today’s examples were very clean to begin with! Also, don’t feel bad… “Art Moderne” is a form of Art Deco, so you would still be correct.

K. Martinez, there are more nice ones from this batch! Stay tuned.

Snow White Archive, I agree with you!

Scott Lane said...

"Stay tuned", he says. smh
As if this bunch of retro-addicts had any choice in the matter. Popping in to see what goodies you've served up for us is one of the first things I do every morning.

Great images today! We already talked about how cool it is to see snapshots from this era in "living color" (to borrow the peacock's phrase) as opposed to to the more common black & white.