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Courtyard at the Desert Inn, Palm Springs, view 18
Alternative Title
Security Pacific National Bank Photo Collection
Date Created and/or Issued
[ca. 1930]
Publication Information
Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at http://tessa.lapl.org/OrderingUse.html for additional information.
Title supplied by cataloger.
The Desert Inn was established in 1909 by village pioneers Dr. Harry Lee Coffman (1867-1935) and Nellie Norton Coffman (1867-1950), along with their two sons George Roberson, Jr. (Nellie's son from a previous marriage) and Owen Earl Coffman. The Desert Inn started as a sanitarium in the tiny, unincorporated town called Palm Springs, and was originally a place for those afflicted with tuberculosis. In 1914 Nellie decided a change was needed and she converted the business into a hotel. Dr. Harry was in disagreement and not at all happy with this decision, and he and Nellie eventually divorced. The good doctor soon left Palm Springs and practiced medicine in Coachella Valley, and later in San Diego County, where he passed away in 1935. During this time, the Desert Inn was becoming a world-renowned resort hotel catering to the very wealthy, which included well-known millionairs such as the Vanderbilt and Hearst families. Nellie and her sons continually added to the hotel property, and by 1927 a modern hotel had replaced the earlier structures, becoming a white-walled, Indian-Spanish inspired landmark complete with red-tiled roof and wide verandas of terra cotta, the gardens boasting of the best of desert flora. The Inn was run by Nellie and her sons for decades, and Nellie's ability, determination, and charm extended the resort's reputation which brought people from all over the world to this fine establishment. Nellie's love and charitable works for the community earned her the title of "Mother Coffman". The famed Desert Inn closed its doors in 1955 after Nellie's death, and was finally razed in 1967, making way for the Desert Fashion Shopping Plaza.
View 18 of the Palm Springs Dessert Inn resort, catering to the winter tourist trade. Photograph shows an unidentified woman walking through a neatly manicured courtyard toward one of the buildings (not visible from this angle). Several potted plants line the walkway on the left.
1 photographic print :b&w ;11 x 14 cm. on sheet 21 x 26 cm.
Photographic prints
Security Pacific National Bank Collection
Palm Springs-Hotels-Desert Inn.; N-004-335.18 4x5
Desert Inn (Palm Springs, Calif.)
Architecture, Domestic--California--Palm Springs
Architecture, Domestic--Spanish influences
Resorts--California--Palm Springs
Deserts--California--Palm Springs
Hotels--California--Palm Springs
Coffman, Harry Lee
Coffman, Nellie Norton
Palm Springs (Calif.)

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