El Mirador Tower remains a reminder of Palm Springs’ ancient history


Overlooking Regional Desert Medical Center, the 68-foot-tall Spanish renaissance tower was originally built as part of the glamorous El Mirador Hotel, a 165-room hotel that opened on New Year’s Eve in 1927, serving stars of Hollywood and luminaries like Bing Crosby, Shirley Temple, Albert Einstein, Salvador Dali and HG Wells.

In 1942, the US government bought the El Mirador Hotel, whose name translates essentially as “the belvedere”, and transformed it into Torney General Hospital, treating wounded soldiers from WWII conflicts around the world.

After the war it was sold in 1952 to investors who restored the structure under the direction of famous architect Paul Revere Williams and reopened it as a hotel. In 1973, the hotel closed again and was converted into a medical facility as part of the now adjacent Desert Hospital, known today as the Regional Desert Medical Center.

The pink-hued tower visible from upscale Palm Springs was actually rebuilt from the original architectural plans anear the original tower burnt down in 1989. Now it is part of the Jerry Stergios building at Desert Regional Medical Center. The original weather vane – recovered from the rubble – still sits atop the El Mirador tower.

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