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William Charles Tanner: The Man Who Designed Early Palm Springs

Steven J. Scott unravels the mystery of his Old Las Palmas neighborhood home, ultimately identifying it as a significant architectural design by William Charles Tanner.

Free, ticketed. (1 hr)

Category: Free, Presentation, Talk

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Join us to be inspired by motion picture colorist Steven J. Scott’s fascinating story of architectural discovery! Steve will regale you in mesmerizing detail with how he unraveled the mystery of “Morada La Estrella,” the Old Las Palmas neighborhood home he shares with his husband Bob, by finding a clue hidden in plain sight for almost a century, ultimately identifying the home as a significant architectural design by William Charles Tanner (1876-1960). 

Tanner, also renowned as an artist and journalist, was one of the most significant architects of Palm Springs’ early built environment. Unfortunately, until recently, little scholarly attention has been paid to this remarkable, multi-talented, Renaissance man. His first known Palm Springs design, the Spanish Colonial-styled “Desert Inn” resort complex (1922-1924), became internationally famous and was hailed for its beauty and artistry. He followed that architectural masterpiece with a series of artful local homes that included the famed “Ojo Del Desierto” for oilman Thomas O’Donnell; “Invernada” for capitalist George Heigho; and the hitherto forgotten “Morada La Estrella” for prominent Indiana couple John C. & Estella F. Snyder.

Due to the efforts of the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation, Tanner was recognized with a star on the Palm Springs “Walk of Stars” on February 24, 2023. His star is located on the sidewalk north of the Palm Springs Architecture and Design Center.

The Palm Springs Preservation Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is “to educate and promote public awareness of the importance of preserving the historical resources and architecture of the city of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley area.”  PSPF offers free membership as a public benefit.  To learn more about the work of the foundation see  

Free, Ticketed Event

Things to Know
No children or pets and no smoking.

This is a popular event so if your plans change and you need to cancel please notify us at [email protected] so that we may make the space available to someone else.
Free parking available.
Handicap parking is available. This event is wheelchair accessible.
The organizer of this event is Palm Springs Preservation Foundation.

Event Check-in Location
Camelot Theatres at the Palm Springs Cultural Center

2300 E Baristo Rd.
Palm Springs, CA 92262 
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Photo Credits: Colin Robertson for Lance Gerber Studio, David A. Lee, Stephen H. Willard, Tracy Conrad, Steven Keylon.

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