By Stanley Paul
Nestled in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains sits a most unusual enclave of Italian architecture.
Unbelievably this valuable land sat vacant since the 1880’s, when it was primarily orange groves. Although it sits only two blocks from the center of Palm Springs, unbelievably it was never developed until the early 2000’s, when developer Dennis Cunningham got an option on the property. He then consulted noted California architect David Christian, who had done many wonderful building in the Palm Springs area.
David came up with unusual idea of recreating a Tuscan village. He had visited Italy dozens of times over the years and so loved the architecture of that country. He told Dennis Cunningham of his idea along with the financial partner Lee Brandenberg who were so enthused with his vision they gave the go ahead to proceed. Little did anyone realize the scope of what was proposed. After several additional trips to Tuscany and meeting with numerous artisans and tradesmen work started, and continued for over four years reaching completion in 2005. As you can see by the photographs, the dream was accomplished.
The 44 structures of the villas sit behind imposing Italian wrought iron gates. Each home is unique in its own way. Some have multiple balconies, others have two story living rooms, fountains and many other unusual features. A gorgeous swimming pool sits in the center of the development surrounded by the most lush landscaping imaginable, and is maintained by a full time gardening staff.
Even though the Villas of PS is just two blocks from the exciting new Kimpton Hotel and a variety of new shops and restaurants, you feel like you have been transported to the magical country of Italy.
I feel so blessed to be able to spend my winters here at the wonderful Villas of Old Palm Springs.
Behind the iron gates.
One of the homes against the mountains.
A neighbor’s home in the evening.
Every villa has a patio with breathtaking views.
Flowers everywhere . . .
. . and always in bloom.
One of the streets.
Another street at sundown.
Looking toward the mountains.
My little garden.
View from my office.
My living room.
Linda Heister and Mamie Walton in my living room.
This is my street five months a year.