By Todd Hays
Late last month, the Palm Springs City Council voted unanimously to designate an historic site. Usually, such an action is cause for celebration. In this case, not so much.
The City Council overruled a 6-1 vote by the city’s own Historic Site Preservation Board (HSPB) requiring the designation be conditional on the building’s repainting in historically accurate colors.
The public hearing before the HSPB was robust, including lengthy discourse centering on paint color as it relates to integrity as well as why sites may be better suited for Class 2 designation (having less significance or integrity).
Following the HSPB vote requiring an authentic color scheme, many stakeholders did then argue, in typical Monday morning quarterback fashion, that paint is reversible. Yes, paint is reversible, but they did not argue the site’s color be reversed to more original colors before being designated. The HSPB did argue just that, at great length, during its hearing.
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