Tracing gay Palm Springs’ past

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Brian Blueskye | 14149

Palm Springs is known for its large, vibrant gay population and has its own gay history tour.

Lois Kellogg, a Chicago socialite rumored to be a lesbian, arrived in Palm Springs in 1914 or so and built a large home that once occupied an area which now includes a Rite Aid store. The home had a Moroccan-Persian-style exterior and a large swimming pool, as well as a stable and guest quarters.

The Warm Sands area ws a family-friendly area during the ’50s and ’60s, before disintegrating into a high-crime area in the 1970s, and then being revived as a gay-resort area. Howard Hughes once owned El Mirasol Villas, as well as the Vista Grande, which became one of the first gay resorts in Palm Springs.

Liberace owned a number of homes in Palm Springs. The home on Kaweah Road (pictured) has a sign that reads “Plazza de Liberace.” A miniature piano and piano stool serves as the mailbox for the home. Another former home on Belardo Road, where Liberace died in 1987, is currently being renovated to restore it to the state it was in when Liberace purchased it. Liberace had a large candelabra on the home, as well as a gate with a big “L” and a music note on it. Those markings are gone, and the home currently is a construction zone. It’s behind Our Lady of Solitude, the church that was shown in the funeral scene in Behind the Candelabra.

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