The land north of Country Club Drive between Bob Hope and Morningside drives had been date groves, orchards and grape farms. In the early 1950s, Dick Winans' grape farm was subdivided to create Desert Sun Ranch Estates. In 1962, an LA based developer, Kissel Homes, developed Thunderbird Park next door. The Park inluded about twenty homes surrounding a pitch-and-putt course running the center of the community. While only a couple of homes retain their mid-century look, the greenway still exists. Both enclaves are accessed from Country Club Drive. The Springs Country Club, which dominates the neighborhood, was developed on adjoining acreage in the mid- to late 1970s.
Property address: 71469 Mashie Road (renamed Kay Ballard Lane)
Property name: Neary Residence
Architect: Walter White
Date built: 1953
Status: Demolished 2012
The only known Walter White designed residence in Rancho Mirage.
Property address: 39767 Desert Sun Drive
Property name: Kenaston Residence
E. Stewart Williams
Date built: 1957
Status: HPC designated 07/01/2004
The Kenaston Residence is the last remaining Williams designed house in Rancho Mirage that retains its integrity of design and materials. The house has been restored to a level close to its original condition in consultation with the architect himself. Possessing exceptional significance for its embodiment of the distinguishing characteristics of Desert Modernism from the hand of a master.
'Thunderbird Park' promotional 45 RPM vinyl record from 1962. Click on image at right for a listen.