Friday, July 30, 2010

Endangered Building No. 7: WWII Barracks

When the US entered WWII, the Air Force ferrying Command came to the desert and built these barracks. The City built the road on land donated by Pearl McManus, and in exchange it was named “McCallum Way”, to honor her father. Later, it was renamed Tahquitz-McCallum Way. Later still it was renamed again, dropping “McCallum” for today’s “Tahquitz Canyon Way.” It would appear that Palm Springs has little use for its history....After the war, the barracks were sold and individually moved to locations throughout the desert, Among the most prominent of these hearty survivors is the Clara Bee on Ramon Road. It was altered by architects Wexler & Harrison for use, originally for retired army nurses, I am told, and later it became a Women’s Shelter. It is located on Indian land and today is vacant and scheduled for eventual demolition.

There are those who say that the preservation community wants to preserve “every old building” so I offer the Clara Bee as an example of an old building that does not necessarily warrant preservation....but it might be interesting to see if the Wexler & Harrison facade could be incorporated into a new building on this site......

1 comment:

  1. I've been vacationing in Palm Springs once or twice a year for many years. I love the history of this place and this website is a great resource (and a whole lot of fun). If I may make a suggestion to all the local history fans... it would be great if someone could contact the owner of the Clara Bee and get permission to remove that iconic sign so it can be preserved. Otherwise it will likely end up in the dumpster and be lost forever. I'm here till Sunday and will be happy to help in anyway I can.