CReMa's goal is to urge the City of Palm Springs and PS Resorts to revert to the long-planned location for the Marilyn statue, or to find another suitable location. The current placement co-opts the taxpayer-funded street leading to noted Palm Springs architect E. Stewart Williams' architecturally significant Palm Springs Art Museum. It blatantly disregards the Museum's special status as outlined in the Downtown Palm Springs Specific Plan, adopted in April 2016. The photo above is a rendering of museum visitors' view as they exit the Museum. Welcome to Palm Springs!
When citizens voted for the Measure J sales tax increase to help fund downtown development, an important decision made was that a new street (Museum Way) would connect Palm Canyon Drive to the museum, which is a Class 1 historic site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Museum Way's intended purpose was to integrate the landmark museum into downtown, providing an unobstructed view of the Museum from Palm Canyon Drive. The Marilyn statue blocks the view corridor and shuts down a street the community fought for.
CReMa contends that the way in which the City of Palm Springs and PS Resorts implemented this decision lacked transparency, and did not follow proper procedures. Public comment for this significant change in street usage was stifled. An additional public hearing called for in a November City Staff report never took place. Years of "community listening sessions" were ignored. Those sessions resulted in a designated place for Marilyn: in the park, a mere 100 steps from the current placement. At the November 2020 City Council Meeting, the City abruptly announced the switch of location, neglecting to mention the Downtown Specific Plan at all. They have disregarded considerable pushback from the community. Three council members suggested that Frances Stevens Park would be a better location. This was not seriously discussed.
In the end ALL 5 council members—Geoff Kors, Grace Garner, Lisa Middleton, Dennis Woods and mayor Christy Holstege—approved this misguided location. If you vote in Palm Springs, please consider other candidates in the next election. Hold them accountable for their ill-advised decision.
We are additionally concerned that the statue will never be moved, despite lip service to moving her if it doesn't work out. At 26 feet and 34,300 lbs, it will not be particularly easy to relocate. The City Council and PS Resorts are trying to get around the rules by calling the placement "temporary". 3 years is not temporary. Based on their complete indifference to the previously adopted plan, we are skeptical about placement being temporary.
CReMa believes there is wide support in Palm Springs and beyond for returning Marilyn to her planned location, or another appropriate space. This fundraiser hopes to demonstrate that. This matter is urgent. We are grateful for donations of any amount as soon as possible. Our lawsuit against the City of Palm Springs and PS Resorts is making it’s way through the courts now.
Donations to this fundraiser will be utilized for covering legal fees, advertising, and materials to support our position. CReMa will take any available legal action to prevent Marilyn from blocking Museum Way. Our attorney Chatten-Brown, Carstens, & Minteer LLP has advised us that a lawsuit would cost $50,000-$100,000 depending upon how it plays out.
Thank you for your support and comments.