Those taking the tour will drive themselves along the route while listening to an audio transmission inside their cars.
This free tour will introduce you to Black pioneers of our city whose talents and perseverance overcame the prejudices of earlier times. We’ll see the works of renowned architect Paul R. Williams which include the architecturally significant Town and Country Center (now planned for extensive renovation), and the landmark El Mirador Tower (which is also where Crossley had his office). We’ll learn about land developer and city planner Lawrence Crossley who came here in the 1920s and who reshaped our landscape, created a reliable water source, and represented local Native Americans to the Federal government at a time when those of African descent were forbidden from owning land. We’ll visit the Crossley Corners trailer park and the neighborhood that now bears his name. The tour will conclude at Desert Highland Gateway Estates — Palm Springs’ first organized neighborhood — where community activists and athletes of worldwide repute have all lived. We’ll see First Baptist Church and Ajalon Baptist Church two of our Faith Based Institutions. We’ll end at the James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center, the centerpiece of the Desert Highland Gateway Estates Community, and the social, cultural, and recreational hub of the Palm Springs area.
Photographs courtesy of Julius Shulman J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10), The Paul R. Williams Project, Palm Springs Historical Society and The Desert Sun. Postcards courtesy of Urban Palm Springs. Bio excerpts from www.paulrwilliamsproject.org and Palm Springs Life. Special Thanks to Urban Palm Springs