Palm Springs Preservation Foundation

Palm Springs Downtown Park

Nellie CoffmanCourtesy Palm Springs Historical Society    
PSPF is leading an effort to name the new Downtown Park after Palm Springs pioneer "Mother" Nellie Coffman, owner of the Desert Inn and one of the city's leading philanthropists. The city has historically named its parks after its illustrious female pioneers (e.g., Ruth Hardy Park and Frances Stevens Park) and it seems fitting to continue that tradition.

On July 23, 2018 PSPF board members Jan Harper, Gary Johns and Steven Price made public comment before the Palm Springs city council's subcommittee on the downtown park. Harper, Johns and Price all emphasized the importance of including an historical element in the park and reiterated PSPF's view that the park should be named after Palm Springs pioneer "Mother" Nellie Coffman.

On February 21, 2018, as part of PSPF's free lecture series, former Palm Springs mayor Will Kleindienst gave a riveting presentation about the life of pioneer and philanthropist Nellie Coffman. During the talk, given to a full house at the Palm Springs Woman's Club, Kleindienst described Coffman as "one of the women who built Palm Springs."

PSPF and Modernism Week partnered to produce and display an oversized storyboard celebrating Nellie Coffman's Desert Inn. The display at "CAMP" was seen by thousands of Modernism Week 2018 attendees.

On October 18, 2017 PSPF board member Steven Keylon made compelling public comment before the Palm Springs city council in support of the naming the Downtown Park for pioneer Nellie Coffman.

On September 25, 2017 an insightful opinion piece written by PSPF president Erik Rosenow entitled "Name New Park for Nellie Coffman" appeared in the Desert Sun. To read the Op-Ed piece click here.

On June 9, 2017 PSPF sent a letter to the mayor of Palm Springs recommending the city name the new Downtown Park in honor of Nellie Coffman and opining, "We trust that the city will take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity to connect visitors and residents alike to the storied history of the Desert Inn which played a pivotal role in making Palm Springs a world-renowned resort destination." To read the letter click here.

In December of 2012, and in July of 2015, the Desert Sun newspaper published articles about the historical elements removed in the years leading up to the demolition of the Fashion Plaza (i.e., the Nellie Coffman star and the County of Riverside plaque commemorating the Desert Inn). As reported in those articles, the city manager and Wessman Development principals assured the public that those elements would be re-incorporated into the downtown redevelopment scheme.

In the Media

Click on a title below to view.

  July 6, 2015, Desert Star (Downtown Park)
  December 1, 2012, Desert Star (Downtown Park)

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