Hundred Mile House helps renovate Palm Springs Rancher
“Palm Springs is the first place I remember,” says the melancholy owner of a newly renovated vintage ranch house in old Las Palmas. Occasionally, his memories of childhood forays into the desert of the mid-1960s come back in Technicolor flashbacks: older siblings, the neighbor’s pomegranate tree, a red wagon. At the time, her father was the head of the Palm Springs Desert Resorts Convention & Visitors Authority (now Visit Greater Palm Springs), but due to complicated family dynamics, she grew up in Pennsylvania, where she still lives. today.
It’s not just a story of restoring a home that had lost its architectural identity over decades of poorly designed renovations. It’s also a tale about what it means for a person to return to the place of their first memories to put down roots in the future.
“I’m sure there’s some psychology to it,” says the owner, a retired interior designer. “Palm Springs has always felt very comfortable and familiar.” In 2019, when she bought the 3,166-square-foot home — an equidistant meeting point between family on the East Coast and Australia — it was in its counterfeit colonial phase, complete with moldings and other embellishments. ornate entirely inauthentic to crisp desert modernism. While the home’s native ranch style carried some aspects of the local architectural flavor (a simple silhouette, for example, and a southern orientation that gazes up at the San Jacinto Mountains), it was still something of an outlier in the countryside.