Originally named Ramon Rise Estates in the 1950s, most of our streets are named after their counterparts 100 miles west in Beverly Hills. Anecdotal history suggests the nickname Little Beverly Hills evolved in the 1980s. By the mid-1990s and into the 2000s the name was being used in newspaper real estate advertisements. With the name in common use, the Little Beverly Hills Neighborhood Organization was officially recognized by the City of Palm Springs in November 2014 and was subsequently incorporated as a Corporation by the founding residents in 2016.
Little Beverly Hills and Ramon Rise Estates.
In February 1954 George Goldberg, Thomas White, and Maurice Horner purchased a 40-acre tract from the Agua Caliente tribe and named the tract Ramon Rise Estates with 84 lots for homes. Samuel Sontag (former owner of Sontag Drugstores), Goldberg (a national hotel owner) and Jack Meiselman, through their entity Songold Land Development Company, built the first 21 homes. They were located on El Cielo Road and Canon Drive and built between October 1956 and March 1957; priced between $14,000 and $16,000. The architect is undocumented; however, it is possible that Jack Meiselman was involved in the design. In late 1955 the remaining 63 lots were acquired by George Alexander and Joe (J.C.) Dunas (Beverly-Oakhurst Apartments). Along with Duane Tjomsland, Alexander and Dunas, through their entity Enchanted Village, built the remaining 63 homes between July 1957 and February 1958; priced between $18,950 and $19,775. The architecture firm of Palmer & Krisel created floor plans in January 1956 and January 1957 with the later one being used; now known as the Ramon Rise floorplan. This 3 bed, 2 bath floorplan was subsequently used in Enchanted developments in Sunmor and Sunrise Park. It is believed that designers other than Palmer & Krisel were involved with designing the final home exteriors. There were five exterior styles created; El Dorado, Enchantment, Fiesta, Fleetwood and Suburba, with the model homes all located on Compadre Road.
Top Image: George Alexander hands a check to City building inspector Jack Sanders for building permits following the announcement of $10M in Alexander Construction Company building projects in Palm Springs. As published in The Desert Sun Page 12, March 15, 1958.
At Right: Desert Sun Article about Ramon Rise Estates Groundbreaking.
Below: A rendering for the Ramon Rise project. The front facade features more detailing and deeper eaves than the built examples and so this rendering was likely conceptual in nature. Architect William Krisel, FAIA was known to experience ongoing frustrations due to changes builders would make to his designs. By all reports this happened in Little Beverly Hills as with other communities.
Advertising: Enchanted Village at Ramon Rise Estates marketing brochure. 63 homes were originally designed by Palmer & Krisel and modified by the builder Alexander Construction Company.
Below: The floor plan found in all of the Alexander-built homes in Little Beverly Hills. This drawing by the Architecture firm Palmer & Krisel for client George Alexander Co with the project noted as Ramon Tract. The drawing is dated January 1957.
One of the homes in Little Beverly Hills is the former residence of pioneering female film producer, Harriet Parsons, daughter of the famous Hollywood gossip columnist, Louella Parsons, who also resided here in her later years.Louella Parsons was the first American movie columnist and was retained by William Randolph Hearst because she had championed Hearst's mistress, Marion Davies. Louella subsequently became an influential figure in Hollywood. At her peak, her columns were read by 20 million people in 400 newspapers worldwide.Louella remained the unchallenged “Queen of Hollywood gossip” until the arrival of the flamboyant Hedda Hopper, with whom she feuded for years.
Among the more notable films produced by Harriet Parsons were ''I Remember Mama'' (1948); ''Enchanted Cottage'' (1945); ''Clash By Night'' (1952); ''Never A Dull Moment (1952), and ''Susan Slept Here'' (1954). Before becoming a movie producer, Harriet Parsons was a screen and magazine writer. She had her own radio program, ''Hollywood Highlights,'' in 1938.
This home has also hosted various celebrities and Coachella performers like Solange Knowles and Goldroom.