August 2, 2007

Dos Palmas escapes wrecking crew

Bureau of Land Management to reassess property

The Desert Sun

Demolition of the 1920s ranch house at Dos Palmas Oasis has been postponed indefinitely, Friends of Dos Palmas announced on Wednesday.

"A bright new day has dawned for Dos Palmas!" said Jennie Kelly, chair of the North Shore Community Council and a Friend of Dos Palmas, in a prepared statement.

Her enthusiasm came in response to a public meeting with John Kalish of the Bureau of Land Management on Tuesday.

The agency agreed to reassess the adobe this fall using guidelines from Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

As reported by The Desert Sun last month, the federal Bureau of Land Management had plans to demolish Rancho Dos Palmas if its supporters could not prove its structural soundness or historical significance.

The Friends of Dos Palmas recently acquired photos of the home from the 1930s and 1940s, which they say provide "photographic proof that will support preservation and quite possibly facilitate listing (the adobe) on the National Register of Historic Places."

In the future, the group would like to host "cultural heritage events at the ranch," which may include historical reenactments and an art show.

For now, they are grateful to those who have helped support their efforts to spread the word and save their beloved ranch house.

The group sees the BLM's decision to reassess the property as "the first of many steps to preservation."