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La Plaza Walking Tour

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Plaza Theatre

128 South Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs, CA 92262

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Wake up and take a 90 minute stroll into Palm Springs circa 1936. Just a block from the Hilton Hotel, you’ll meet William G. Kleindienst, Architect, Former Mayor & Palm Springs Historian for his signature (AND FREE) tour of The Plaza Shopping Center, now “La Plaza.” More than a shopping center, the walking tour delves into the inner workings of a unique concept that was the first of its kind in the country...shopping and living together with the automobile, truck deliveries, and a gasoline station and mechanics integrated into the purpose and function. An early movie theatre and an anchor store aside arcades of shops are served by drive-up parking and one of (if not) the first underground concrete parking structures in California. You’ll meander with historic architectural photos and documents in hand through charming bungalow courtyards and climb to the second floor Dance Hall, “apartments for single women” and bunker like servants/chauffeur’s quarters. La Plaza was designed for wealthy winter Snowbird, Mrs. Cornell (National Cash Register Company) by Dayton, Ohio architect, Harry Williams (Schenk & Williams) who came to the desert for the commission and remained for the rest of his life. Williams produced notable early buildings and two of Palm Springs most notable architects, his sons Roger Williams and acclaimed modernist E.Stewart Williams (Williams, Williams and Williams, Inc.).

This tour is free, but requires advanced registration. Attendees should arrive under the PLAZA THEATRE sign, in the courtyard in front of the Plaza theatre, near the corner of Tahquitz Canyon Way and Palm Canyon. Guests should arrive 10 minutes prior to departure.

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Location

Plaza Theatre

128 South Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs, CA 92262

View Map

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