In 1922, the heirs to the Pierce Arrow Motor Company–regarded as the “American Rolls-Royce”–tapped Santa Barbara architect and Spanish Colonial Revival specialist, George Washington Smith, to design this hedged two-acre estate. With architectural detailing and antiques that spared no expense, a fireplace also anchored each room. Ingleside arrived in Hollywood social circles as doyenne Ruth Hardy’s invitation-only hideaway, with Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, and Marilyn Monroe just a handful of fabled icons signing the register. Decades later, owner Mel Haber ushered in a 1970s renaissance, restoring and opening the inn to the public, and adding Melyvn’s restaurant and lounge.
Deep in Old Palm Springs, the Birge family builds a Spanish Colonial Revival estate deep in Old Palm Springs. For the heirs to the motor company considered the American Rolls-Royce, only a grand setting would do, filled with antiques and relics unearthed by their world travels.
Consummate hostess of Palm Springs, Ruth Hardy refashions the property as her own personal club. Stays were by invitation only; dinner guests upon approval. Among her who’s who of regulars were Clark Gable, Salvador Dali, and Elizabeth Taylor.
The Inn is purchased by Winston S. Cowgill III, a San Franciscan regular from a well-known banking family. Without Ruth’s free-flowing champagne on cloudy days, however, things weren’t quite the same.
An enchanted Melvyn Haber purchases the property and pours his heart and pocketbook into a restoration. He adds a namesake restaurant and lounge–quickly a golden flame for the glamorous moths of the social set.
After the passing of Mel Haber, San Francisco-based PlumpJack Group, co-founded by Governor Gavin Newsom, undertakes a painstaking restoration and modernization.
A new heyday begins for a storied hideaway as Proper Hospitality, in partnership with Meriwether Companies, assumes management.