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Melissa Riche – Historic Neighborhoods: How the City of Rancho Mirage Grew from 1955–1975
October 15, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
With the success of Thunderbird and Tamarisk Country Clubs, developers bought land nearby to build small resort-style neighborhoods of homes and apartments. From the mid 1950s onwards, these offered a lower-cost, maintenance-free alternative to a big home on the fairways, yet every community advertised that it was near Thunderbird and Tamarisk, such was the allure of the clubs. The other attractions to the new developments were the central facilities, such as a pool and gardens, often a social Photo: Jim Riche center, and other services. By the mid-1960s the condominium concept had taken root, so that owning a second home was easily affordable and available. As Rancho Mirage was incorporating as a city in 1973, it was also becoming the center for the expanded country club model that came to epitomize its profile, such as Mission Hills, Desert Island, Sunrise, and the Springs.
Melissa Riche is a writer, researcher, architecture enthusiast, preservationist, and media consultant. She has written about architecture and design for twenty years, including articles for Atomic Ranch magazine and the Desert Sun newspaper and historic nominations for the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation. She is the founder of Mod Mirage, a group of midcentury modern homeowners in Rancho Mirage, California. Melissa and her husband, photographer Jim Riche, live in Tamarisk Ranchos, a William Krisel–designed midcentury modern community.