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Mother Nellie Coffman and Her Beloved Desert Inn

Former mayor Will Kleindienst will present the fascinating history of pioneer and philanthropist Nellie Coffman, founder of Palm Springs' storied and internationally-famous Desert Inn. Free (2 hrs)
Category: @Palm Springs, Presentation, Talk


Free Admission
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Full Details

Be regaled by one of the valley's most sought-after speakers, Will Kleindienst.  Historian, architect, preservationist, author, and raconteur, the former mayor of Palm Springs will wind his way through the fascinating history of Palm Springs as he contextualizes the role of pioneer and philanthropist Nellie Coffman, founder of Palm Springs' storied and internationally-famous Desert Inn.  Coffman's efforts as one of the "women who built Palm Springs" is an inspiring story of how grit, determination and vision can accomplish extraordinary things.  How the development of the Desert Inn eventually culminated in a stunning "built environment" married to a beautiful natural environment is described in detail.  Will reflects on the demolition of the Desert Inn "in the name of progress" in 1967, and the enduring lessons learned as a result of that loss.

The Palm Springs Preservation Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is “to educate and promote public awareness of the importance of preserving the historical resources and architecture of the city of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley area.”  PSPF offers free membership as a public benefit.  To learn more about the work of the foundation see  

Free, Ticketed Event

Things to Know

No children or pets and no smoking please.
Proof of vaccine or negative Covid test within 72 hours of attendance will be required for entry. Masks will be required indoors.
This is a popular event so if your plans change and you need to cancel please notify us at so that we may make the space available to someone else.
Free parking available.
Handicap parking is available. This event is wheelchair accessible.
The organizer of this event is Palm Springs Preservation Foundation.

Event Check-in Location

Camelot Theatres at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 East Baristo Road, Palm Springs, CA 92262 
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Photo Credits: 
Stephen H. Willard Postcard, H. S. Crocker Co., Inc. Postcard, Stephen H. Willard Postcard

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