Online Exhibitions

INDIAN CANYON DRIVE

When Indian Avenue was widened in 1953, a geological survey was commissioned to study the spring and to assure that the street project would not disturb its flow.  This water collector was installed at the source of the spring in order to redirect water to the bathhouse.

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum.  All Rights Reserved

ATTRIBUTION: currently named for the canyons at the south end of Palm Springs; formerly named for bisecting "the village" and Section 14

FORMER NAME: Indian Avenue

The Indian Canyons (Andreas, Palm, and Murray) and their associated natural resources are considered sacred to Cahuilla people.  They are also unique ecosystems that are home to an array of flora and fauna.

About Indian Canyon Drive

Indian Canyon Drive was known as Indian Avenue until its name was changed on December 19, 1990.  This change was the result of a consultant’s recommendation in support of a downtown marketing theme.  However, many locals continue to refer to the street by its former name.

Indian Canyon Drive bisects downtown Palm Springs and borders Agua Caliente tribal land (Section 14), which is how Indian Avenue obtained its name.

 In 1953, the Agua Caliente Band granted a right-of-way to the City of Palm Springs so that Indian Avenue, as it was then known, could be widened  as a way to relieve congestion on Palm Canyon Drive.  Great care was taken to preserve the flow of the hot spring which emerges from deep beneath the earth at the corner of Indian Canyon Way and Tahquitz Canyon Drive.  Because the grade for the new roadbed was to be several feet lower than the old road and much closer to the spring, it became necessary to install a water collector.  Following the completion of the new grade for the wider street, a sump was installed from which porous drainage tiles radiated to collect the water.  This collection system served two purposes: to prevent hydrostatic uplift of Indian Avenue and to divert water to the tribal bathhouse — a rustic precursor to the tribe’s modern day spa.


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