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Deepwell Ranch Estates Bike Tour

Central Palm Springs Bike Tour

Deepwell Ranch Neighborhood History

George Fitch, Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, purchased the land in 1895 and had planted an orchard of apricot trees. A 10-year drought followed and in 1911, Oliver McKinney and his wife Rose arrived in Palm Springs looking for a home site and took the lease on the Fitch property.

The McKinney’s planted castor bean trees to supply the U.S. armed forces with castor oil. However, the men who controlled the water supply (Whitewater ditch), were interested in developing the northern part of town and closed the water supply. The McKinney’s were forced into abandoning their hopes and the property.

Henry Parsons, eminent scientist and writer, came to the property in 1926 and the first thing he did was drill a well. Although he found water at 100 feet, he drilled further until he hit 613 feet where he stopped because 13 was his lucky number. Having the deepest water well in the Coachella Valley, he called the place Deep Well, and the name stuck.

Parsons sold it in 1928 to Charles Doyle who converted it to Deep Well Guest Ranch. It changed hands a few times, but remained a ranch. In 1951 it was purchased by local developer, William Grant, and subdivided it into a custom home development. The long, low, one-story houses were and still are a mixture of Spanish Colonial Revival, Ranch, and midcentury modern.

Deepwell Ranch Estates

Begin Palm Springs Bike Tour

A good place to begin your Palm Springs Bike Tour is the corner of Indian Trail and East Palm Canyon Drive. Indian Trail will angle right onto Camino Real. At the split you will see Villa Royale. Villa Royal is an amazing Spanish style boutique hotel. It was used for the TV series Mad Men (season 2).

Deepwell Ranch Estates

Follow Camino Real to Calle Palo Fierro turning right. Continue to Mesquite Avenue and turn right.

Ginny Simms – 1139 Mesquite Ave. – Big Band singer and MGM contract actress. Seen here at the 1957 Palm Springs Police Show.

ginny simms
Credit: Palm Springs Historical Society.

Loretta Young – 1075 S Manzanita Av. (corner of Mesquite). Actress and Oscar winner for The Farmers Daughter (1947) and Emmy for The Loretta Young Show (1953).

loretta young 1943
Studio Image, 1943

Turn right on Calle Rolph.

Carmen Maranda Home – 1044 Calle Rolph

Marjorie Main Home – 1290 Calle Rolph – Vaudeville, Broadway and film actress. Known best as Ma Kettle in the Ma and Pa Kettle movies.

marjorie main

Robert Livingston – 1321 S Calle Rolph –  Sci-fi and cowboy Actor.

Oscar Mayer – 1353 Calle Rolph – Grandson of the original Oscar Mayer of Chicago who made it famous as a leader in hot dogs and sandwich meats.

Deepwell Ranch Estates house

Continue your Palm Springs Bike Tour South to Sonora Road and turn right. Go one block and turn right again at Sagebrush Road.

Jerry Lewis Home – 1349 Sagebrush Road

Deepwell Ranch Estates house

Turn Left at Ocotillo Ave. and again at Driftwood Drive.

William Holden Home – 1323 Driftwood Drive

william holden house palm springs

Turn right at Deepwell Road and continue west.  It will run into South Deepwell road which will bring you back to East Palm Canyon Drive where you began. There are many more streets to explore in this neighborhood with architectural examples that has helped define the iconic Palm Springs midcentury style. While this tour just introduces you to the neighborhood, now that you know your way around, do some exploring!

By Randy Garner

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Read More “Don’t Worry Darling” Filmed in Palm Springs Palm Springs filming locations. By Randy Garner Don’t Worry Darling is a new psychological thriller film that takes place in a 1950’s fictional California town called Victory. Official Trailer Why Palm Springs? The location plays a role in telling the story. While the neighborhood you see looks too picturesque to be real, in does, in fact, exist in real life. It’s not a tame and controlled conservative suburban life. Victory is a spectacular place full of opulence. It depicts something of a secret society in America, so it doesn’t represent traditional 1950s America or its values. As such, the production team descended upon Palm Springs, the longtime playground of the Hollywood elite, to create their desert utopia. A land of ever-present sunshine, blue skies and midcentury architecture galore, the area proved the quintessential backdrop for the storyline. The Storyline The Victory Corporation is building a city called Victory. It is meant to be a suburban utopia complete with sprawling greenbelts, a clubhouse, a sparkling pool and even an onsite boutique. Victory residents will want for nothing and have little reason to every leave. It is the one place to stay and be safe. The storyline follows Alice (portrayed by Florence Pugh) and Jack (played by Harry Styles), who are a married couple with a troublesome relationship. They just moved to Victory, a company town created by and paid for by Jack’s new employer, Frank (played by Chris Pine). While Jack and his colleagues go to work on the “Victory Project”, their wives are left to enjoy the beauty and luxury of their community. Here’s a look at some more specific Palm Springs filming locations in Don’t Worry Darling. The Kaufmann House The Kaufmann House was used was for the home of Victory Corporation founder, Frank, portrayed by Chris Pine. The home is fragile and extremely valuable, so much care had to be take to ensure nothing was damaged. This included bubble wrapping portions of the home and having docents in every room. Department store owner Edgar Kaufmann hired architect Richard Neutra to design a desert home for his family. A decade earlier, Frank Lloyd Wright had built Fallingwater for Mr. Kaufmann. But Kaufmann, having seen Taliesin West, thought that Wright didn’t understand desert design and chose Neutra instead. The home turned out so well, that when Wright saw it, he admitted to that is was beautiful (uncharacteristic of him). The building remains the most famous in Palm Springs in terms of international recognition. The flat roof, steel frame, and glass walls embody one prominent version of Modernism by using sharp, clean, lines and contrasting them to the rugged slopes of Mt. San Jacinto as a backdrop. When photographed by Julius Shulman, the Kaufmann House became an iconic image of modern architecture. The north wing is the guest’s quarters, separated from the rest of the house. The secluded west wing is the service wing. It would be purchased by Joseph and Nelda Linsk. She was the glamorous woman wearing yellow depicted in legendary photographer Slim Aaron’s iconic photograph highlighting the good life in Palm Springs, dubbed “Poolside Gossip.” In 1968, Eugene and Francis Klein, owners of the San Diego Chargers, purchased it. Then in 1973, Barry Manilow purchased the property and owned it until 1993. Beth and Brent Harris become the new owners and were eager to restore the property.They found a home once originally open and light-filled now dense and dark thanks to 2,200 square feet of additions that turned courtyards into interior spaces. The iconic upstairs room visible from the street, an open-air deck that really is one of the house's main features, had its views of mountains and palm trees blocked by air-conditioning compressors. Linsk addition, designed by William Cody, was compatible and relatively seamless, but removed the glass corridor to the master bedroom and drastically reduced the amount of light to the interior. Modernist furnishings selected by Neutra were replaced with those chosen by prominent Palm Springs interior designer Arthur Elrod. The Harris’s dismantled the crumbling fireplaces and numbering each stone for reassembly. To repair gashes in the walls of Utah sandstone, the firm convinced the original quarry in Utah to return to a long-closed portion of its site so the color and texture of the new stone would match that of the old. To find a source for mica, a crystalline sand which workers applied to the house's exterior to provide a subtle, starry-night glow, the architects had to work with the U.S. Bureau of Mines. Can I Visit? The Kaufmann House is privately owned and not available for tours or a rental. However, you can take a peek of the home by driving by 470 West Vista Chino. Canyon View Estates This is where Alice and Jack live in the film. Their residence was on a circular cul-de-sac with their neighbors’ houses facing inwards on the perimeter. For filming at this location, every driveway had to be cleared for blocks and blocks of non-period elements. This affected the daily routine for hundreds of people and property owners. Canyon View Estates was designed by Dan Palmer and William Krisel. These local architects also designed Ocotillo Lodge, Las Palmas Estates, Kings Point and Racquet Club Estates. The “House of Tomorrow” was designed by Krisel for Robert Alexander and his wife Helen. They made it their personal residence and lived in it until their premature death in a plane crash in 1965. The house later gained fame as the honeymoon home of Elvis and Priscilla Presley. The design of these quaint one-story duplex-style condominiums offered floor-to-ceiling windows, and characteristic Palm Springs geometric stonework. It included post-and-beam construction, open floor plans in which the living room, dining room and kitchen flow together. Built in six stages in the 1960s by developer Roy Fey, it has a utopian neighborhood feel, with a shared pool, spa and green space. It includes 180 units with attached carports. Can I Visit? Properties in Canyon View Estates are privately owned and few are available as a vacation rental. However, the neighborhood is not gated, so grab a cruiser bike and explore. Palm Springs City Hall The Palm Springs City Hall was shown briefly in the film. It is centrally located and just steps away from the Palm Springs International Airport, another beautiful midcentury modern style building. Palm Springs City Hall was one of Clark, Frey and Chambers’ most important public buildings, built between 1952 and 1957. Although a collaborative effort with the local architectural firm of Williams and Williams, the building’s initial phase was primarily the design work of John Porter Clark and Albert Frey. An unusual detail of the council chamber is its corner treatment consisting of projecting concrete blocks cut at a diagonal at every other paired row, which allows the blocks to cast light and shadow. Albert Frey was a leading early architect to Palm Springs and left a large design footprint on the city. His own residence, Frey House II, is also an architecturally significant building as was willed to the Palm Springs Art Museum upon his death. It is perched above Palm Springs with sweeping views and is available for tours through the museum. Can I Visit? Palm Springs City Hall is a popular spot on Palm Springs’ midcentury modern design tours, but visitors are also welcome to walk around and take photos. It is located at 3200 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way. Palm Springs Visitor Center Look for the Palm Springs Visitor Center, which was also shown briefly in the film. Like City Hall, it was also designed by architect Albert Frey. In 1965, it began as an Esso gas station situated in North Palm Springs. With a swooping and wing-shaped roof, it immediately captures the attention of visitors as they arrive in the city. In the 1990s, the building was converted into an art gallery, and subsequently taken over by the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism.

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