Discover the Fascinating Hidden Famous History of Tahquitz River Estates!

So much more to explore in Tahquitz River Estates! From interesting celebrity history to important architectural significance, TRENO has it all. Ride bikes or walk the lush Palm Springs neighborhood and discover the fascinating past!

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PURCELL HOUSE (1933) 252 E. Ocotillo Ave.

Prairie School architect William Gray Purcell designed this “spec” home with protégé Evera Van Bailey while recuperating from tuberculosis in a sanatorium in Banning, Calif. The cubist modern house features a ground-hugging, low profile and wide horizontal overhangs shading metal windows. It rented for $100 a month in 1935.


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VILLA ROYALE (1947– 1951)
1620 S. Indian Trail
This three-acre collection of California Ranch-style structures surroundsthree separate courtyards and was once the estate of film star and Olympic figure skater Sonja Henie. Courtyard 1 is the original VillaRoyale designed by Los Angeles-based Kenneth Dreisbach and built in several phases over four years by local Palm Springs contractor Ralph Young. The structure has changed through the years and at one pointhad 31 distinctive villas. Some villas were equipped with full kitchens. Others had private patios and fireplaces. Villa Royale and Europarestaurant are closed as they undergo renovations. Reopening in 2018.


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A PLACE IN THE SUN GARDEN HOTEL (1948)
754 E. San Lorenzo Rd.
This historic desert oasis of 17 midcentury bungalows was a productionretreat for cast and crew of the classic film “A Place in the Sun,” starring Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift and Shellie Winters. Based on the novel, “An American Tragedy,” by Theodore Dreiser, the film won sixOscars. The single-story bungalows form an enclave around the saltwater pool & spa, and sit on over an acre of lush lawns and fragrant gardens.


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HUGH STEPHENS RESIDENCE (1949 ̶ 1951)
645 E. Morongo Road
Secluded on a three-quarter-acre triangular estate, this moderniststructure was designed by John Porter Clark and Robson Chambers of the Clark and Frey architectural firm and was an important pre-cursorto the wave of modernism that followed.


THE DESERT STAR (1956)
1611 S. Calle Palo Fierro
A lovingly restored “motor court apartment” building; The Desert Starby Howard Lapham is now a small complex of condominiums. The property is a City of Palm Springs Designated Historic Site and was one of Lapham’s earliest projects in Palm Springs.


DESERT RIVIERA HOTEL (1951)
610 E. Palm Canyon Drive
This retro, 11-room mid-century hotel is a sleek, U-shaped property withlarge plate-glass and casement windows, wide roof overhangs and 11 rooms. It sits along the bending stretch of E. Palm Canyon Drive thatused to be called Indio Road. It was designed by Herbert W. Burns, the modernist architect known for other projects like the Town & Desert Apartments, now called the Hideaway Hotel.


FORMER HOME OF WILLIAM WYLER
976 E. San Lorenzo Road
Hollywood legend William Wyler directed 36 actors to Oscar-nominated performances – more than any other director in history. His films earned 128 nominations and included “Ben Hur,” “Little Foxes,” and “Jezebel.” He owned this property from 1951 to 1967. He helped propel a number of actors to stardom, finding and directing Audrey Hepburn in her Hollywood debut film, “Roman Holiday” (1953), and directing Barbra Streisand in her debut film, “Funny Girl” (1968).