Julius Shulman Photographic Archive, Research Library, The Getty Research Institute
Palm Springs provided the perfect setting for Paul R. Williams' and A. Quincy Jones' unique, sophisticated interpretation of the West Coast modern architectural style. Alan Hess, the author of the bible on Palm Springs' architecture Palm Springs Weekend, described the California resort as a unique midcentury architectural phenomenon that combined "big money and daring clients." Williams' and Jones' design for the restaurant (images 1-4) in this innovative mixed-use shopping center (Town & Country Center, images 5-8) helped establish Palm Springs as the weekend get-away destination for the powerful of Hollywood.
The Town & Country Restaurant at 169 N. Indian Canyon Drive was built in 1948 as the focal point of the chic shopping center. "The Center" consisted of three, two-story, flat-roofed buildings with pedestrian arcades and a landscaped, open-air central courtyard.
Located off the courtyard of The Center's anchor unit and up an angled staircase, the restaurant's regional modern interior (image 4) featured natural wood finishes and Eames furnishings. The restaurant's appeal was so effective that its success in attracting patrons to the surrounding shops was noted in the February 1950 issue of Architectural Record.
In 2004, the Palm Springs Citywide Historic Resources Survey identified the Town & Country Center to be one of the most historically important buildings in Palm Springs.