About Us

Preservation Mirage began as an informal group of midcentury homeowners that met to exchange ideas and information about owning and preserving midcentury architecture. As the number of participants increased, so did the goals of the group. In late 2017, a board of directors was elected, and the preservation group became a registered nonprofit.

Our Mission

Preservation Mirage celebrates the architectural history of Rancho Mirage by promoting its protection and appreciation. We do that by:

  • Advocating for the protection of significant architecture while providing a path for those seeking historic designations.
  • Raising awareness of the city’s historic architecture by offering educational opportunities that enhance its appreciation.
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Board of Directors

Melissa Riche (President) is a writer, researcher, local historian and preservationist. For 30 years she has written about architecture and design for a variety of clients and publications. She is the author of Mod Mirage, a comprehensive study of midcentury architecture in Rancho Mirage. She lives in a 1958 house at the historic district Tamarisk Ranchos, designed by William Krisel.

Craig Traupane (Vice President) trained as an architect. He specializes in managing restorations of historic homes, including the Charney Residence (Wexler & Harrison, 1957) at Tamarisk Country Club and two residences by William F. Cody.

Bob Berg (Secretary) is a California native. He previously served on City of Rancho Mirage Historic Preservation Commission and currently serves on the Speakers’ Series Commission. He has been a member of Preservation Mirage since its inception. Bob is retired from his professional life as Global Director for Procurement for a large research and engineering corporation. He has lived in Rancho Mirage since 2004.

Daniel Swartz, AIA is a dedicated preservationist and design and architecture expert. He serves on the board of Sci-Arc Architecture and Design School in Los Angeles and the advisory board of the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture. A Rancho Mirage resident, until recently he owned a Wexler-designed house in Thunderbird Heights.

Nathan Jacroux is a senior marketing executive with a passion for design and architecture. He has lived in Rancho Mirage since 2012 in the Tamarisk / Treasure Palms Estates neighborhood. Nathan has lovingly restored a 1907 Transitional Arts & Crafts Mills Act property in Angeleno Heights, Los Angeles first HPOZ.

Thomas Watson is a lawyer and activist with an abiding love of architecture. He is a partner with the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson. He owns the 1960 Tompkins residence designed by Thornton Ladd & John Kelsey in Thunderbird Heights. And he is presently building a home designed by the Spanish firm Esteva i Esteva in Los Angeles.

Daniel Allen started his career as an estate-planning attorney before moving into wealth management. He currently is an executive at a large financial institution. His passion for midcentury design began when he first stepped foot in the desert twelve years ago. He lives in the Thunderbird North community.

Margaret Spaniolo spent over 30 years in New York City as a Fashion Executive for luxury retailers before moving to California and opening her current consulting company. Her passion for renovating and preserving homes began 25 years ago involving building and or restoring 9 homes/apts. Moving to the desert one year ago and discovering an architecturally significant midcentury home changed her world and she soon became an advocate for the preservation of Rancho Mirage’s legacy homes. She lives in the Thunderbird North community.