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Rich with History and Inspiration: The Tale of Emerson & Farrar Store in Palm Springs

The building of the former Oasis Hotel in the splendid Palm Springs is a true historical and architectural jewel. It’s been over a year since Emerson & Farrar has established its position as eminent jewelers in Palm Springs, CA. Even now, we are as happy as ever that we are located in this exact historical spot – the Tower of the legendary Oasis Hotel.  

Emerson & Farrar - Jewelers in Palm Springs CA

A girl’s first true love is her father

The Oasis Hotel came to existence as a daughter’s tribute to her father’s heritage. The building was commissioned by Pearl McManus, who was the daughter of John Guthrie McCallum, the first white settler in Palm Springs. Having envisioned a hotel of commanding presence and beauty, Pearl was ready to disburse quite a sum to make her dream come true. There was no room for compromise, literally.

The hotel was constructed on the site of her family home – the one her father built when they first arrived in Palm Springs. It was designed to be an exclusive hotel, made of highest-quality materials and with an avant-garde design. One of the crucial and most striking elements of the design was the Tower, which was the embodiment of her respect for her father. For decades, the Tower was the tallest building in Palm Springs.

The architect that Pearl chose to make her vision a reality was Lloyd Wright, the eldest son of the world-famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. The Oasis Hotel was Lloyd Wright’s first commercial property and it remained the only property he designed in Palm Springs.

The design of the hotel belongs to organic architecture, a concept termed and promoted by the architect’s renowned father. The guiding principle of organic style in architecture is to approach the design holistically, so that the building, the furnishings and the landscape become a unified whole. In keeping with this, Pearl McCallum expended a small fortune to adapt the structure design to go around certain trees that grew on the site since it was their family home estate. Parts of the McCallum family home were also incorporated in the hotel.

Top-flight in every respect

The Oasis Hotel was completed in 1925. It was a stunning structure with the 1920’s Art Moderne esthetics and stood out from the surroundings dominated by Spanish and Mission Revival architecture. The hotel had the first swimming pool in Palm Springs and proudly featured opulent landscaping and arresting interiors.

The hotel was innovative both in terms of esthetics and the construction method. It was built in the slip-form method, pioneered in South California by the architect and his father. What that means is the building was cast-in-place, without any joints. This gives it a continuous, flawless impression and makes it superior to piecewise concrete construction, from the engineering point of view.

This amazing hotel hosted numerous A-listers such as Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, Shirley Temple, Loretta Young, Marion Davies and Spencer Tracy, to name a few.

Marriage of history and art

In 2016, Emerson & Farrar opened a boutique jewelry shop in the reception area of the iconic Oasis Hotel. The space went through a $250,000 renovation project, during which original Art Deco elements were discovered. When a mirror was removed from the west wall, there were a rolled glass slit window and a frieze designed by Wright himself. Needless to say, these elements were restored to their former glory and they are now showcased in the inspiring and vintage ambiance of Emerson & Farrar Fine Jewelry store.

E&F Jewelers in Palm Springs CA

No better match

The Emerson family were not the only one interested in leasing the property, but what tipped the scales in our favor was the nature of our work. The techniques, inspiration and business model in Emerson & Farrar originate in a world from 100 years ago. The location of The Oasis Hotel and its story make a perfect backdrop for the kind of jewelry you can find at Emerson & Farrar.

Jewelers in Palm Springs CA - Emerson & Farrar

Emerson & Farrar are your go-to jewelers in Palm Springs, CA

Are you looking for uniquely designed and superiorly made jewelry of timeless beauty? Stop by Emerson & Farrar showroom on South Palm Canyon Drive. We will welcome you with an unparalleled offer of antique, vintage and custom jewelry as well as with a peerless customer service. We deeply care about what we do and how we do it and our positive reviews and satisfied customers testify to that passion. Check out our Facebook and Instagram profile and visit us. We’re waiting for you!

 

  • 14 Aug, 2017
  • Written by Emerson Farrar