His equally named cousin was making nationwide information a couple of years earlier than James Logan Abernathy decamped from Kansas and moved to La Jolla, California, together with his spouse, Zemula.
The Abernathy household of Kansas Metropolis was distinguished and affluent. Means again in 1856, James L. Abernathy and his siblings William and John based Abernathy Brothers Furnishings, a wholesale and retail furnishings enterprise within the thriving metropolis on the Kansas facet of the Missouri River. James was probably the most distinguished of the three brothers, having attained rank of lieutenant colonel within the Civil Warfare and serving as mayor of Leavenworth for having banking and insurance coverage considerations. Understandably, a lot of his descendants have been named after him.
Because the household was notable, all their doings, events, events and nights in town have been newsworthy. So years later in 1938, when Carolyn Ridemour Abernathy filed an injunction with the court docket to cease her ex-husband James Logan Abernathy from marrying Chicago socialite Caryl Nicholson, the sister-in-law of actor and producer Orson Welles, it was entrance web page stuff.
The New York Every day Information reported: “Gold Coast marriage grew to become a race between Dan Cupid and the Sheriff tonight with a potential bridegroom in hiding and his debutante bride-to-be standing helplessly on the sidelines.”
The sheriff went to the furnishings firm workplace and requested for James L. Abernathy. He was proven to an workplace. The sheriff summarized: “Then it was all up so far as serving the papers there, the person kicked the papers on the ground and advised me I had the fallacious man.” He had served James L. Abernathy, II, the bridegroom’s equally named cousin.
Fortunately married, James Logan Abernathy, who had been erroneously served, moved to La Jolla together with his unusually named spouse and was safely out of the headlines. Zemula Abernathy died in 1951 and her husband, James Logan Abernathy, married Helen Beatty in 1957.
The winters get chilly and damp in La Jolla, and the couple discovered their method alongside a well-worn path to Palm Springs the place they’d be featured within the newspaper repeatedly for his or her philanthropy, swanky events and, most significantly, for his or her beautiful home.
The masterpiece of a home was designed by grasp architect and bon vivant William Cody in 1962. Its L-shaped wings have been stacked in opposition to a central pavilion recalling architect Richard Neutra’s “pinwheel” flooring plans in an exuberant reply to his Kaufmann home a brief distance away. Every constructing wing was topped with a hipped roof completed with deliciously thick wooden shake shingles surrounded by a lanai that luxuriously traced the footprint of the home producing some 10,000 sq. ft of coated, and due to this fact shaded, area. The overhanging roof plan, punctuated by skinny posts, doubled the dwelling area of the home, sheltered the pool and made for the last word celebration setting.
The artist first got here to the desert in 1945 to attract plans for a contemplated addition to the Desert Inn. Quickly he was working all around the Coachella Valley. Palm Springs had develop into a modern weekend and winter retreat for the wealthy and well-known within the midcentury. These patrons wanted structure.
Cody’s profession flourished together with town. He accomplished the Del Marcos Lodge in 1947 and was acknowledged by the AIA Southern California Chapter with an honorable point out. The Thunderbird Dude Ranch employed Cody in 1950 to remodel itself into the fashionable Thunderbird Nation Membership. The horny design led to different commissions for clubhouses, civic buildings and residential developments.
Cody’s Eldorado Nation Membership, Tamarisk Nation Membership, the Racquet Membership and the Tennis Membership disseminated midcentury fashionable design all through the valley and additional afield in California, Arizona, Texas, Cuba and Mexico. He labored increasing the Palm Springs Spa Lodge beginning in 1960, imbuing it with celebrant fashion.
Cody’s residential initiatives emphasised key components of the fashionable aesthetic: simplicity of type, pure mild, and a seamless connection between in and out. His designs additionally mirrored his persona: exuberant, sybaritic and sociable. He liked a cocktail celebration.
The Abernathy furnishings concern was purchased out in 1950, making each headlines and the entire household much more fabulously rich. It was comprehensible that some member of the household could be discovered within the desert and that James Logan Abernathy would ask William Cody to design his new home.
James and Helen Abernathy joined Palm Springs society and their actions repeatedly made the paper. Described as “distinguished in social and sport circles along with the artwork world.” The Mrs. Abernathy was a member of the Palm Springs department of the American Penwomen, and Palm Springs Pathfinders. Together with her husband she was a member of Thunderbird Nation Membership, the La Jolla Seashore and Tennis Membership and the San Diego Yacht Membership. The Abernathys repeatedly entertained on the home, internet hosting advantages, buddies’ weddings and cocktail events.
They based the Palm Springs Civic Artwork Affiliation. Helen was an achieved artist, having studied on the Hopkins Faculty of High-quality Arts in San Francisco beneath Rudolph Schaeffer, College of California, Berkeley, with Charles Orson Horton and at Scripps School in Claremont with Millard Sheets and Henry Lee McFee. She signed her work in capital letters, HAB.
Their goal was to determine an artwork gallery and a college for portray with “a recent strategy and feeling.” They wished to determine an artwork heart for the event of “artwork, music and theater to be used by most of the people.” As well as, a gallery, referred to as the Palm Springs Modern Artwork Gallery, was arrange in part of the El Paseo Theater Constructing on Palm Canyon Drive. Board conferences have been held on the Cody-designed pavilion dwelling.
The Palm Springs Civic Artwork Affiliation would finally companion with the Desert Museum in an effort to “home each type of inventive expression” the place the museum would develop into “a middle for the whole area the place portray, theatre, and music will discover a dwelling.” The fashionable thought of such cultural choices nonetheless reverberates within the valley in the present day and the Abernathy Home remains to be within the very heart of it.
The home would be the website of a profit, providing a uncommon likelihood to attend a cocktail celebration akin to these thrown within the midcentury. Within the custom of the Abernathys, the Palm Springs Worldwide Jazz Competition is bringing a joyous celebration to the valley Could 14 and 15 as a part of the Oasis Music Competition. Headlining is Grammy winner Christian McBride. Tickets can be found on-line for the musical performances (oasismusicfestival.com) and for the cocktail celebration on the Abernathy Home at oasismusicfestival.com/portfolio-item/abernathy-house.
Tracy Conrad is president of the Palm Springs Historic Society. The Thanks for the Recollections column seems Sundays in The Desert Solar. Write to her at [email protected].