The city’s name was taken from Cathedral Canyon to the south of the city so named in 1850 by Colonel Henry Washington because its rock formations were reminiscent to that of a cathedral. The city began as a housing subdivision around 1925 and was incorporated in 1981. The city grew rapidly in two decades as the 2006 population estimate is 48,000 and with the latest census numbers bringing it up to around 52,000.
Ideally located between Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage it is one of the cities in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area) of southern California. Cathedral City has the second largest in population in the Coachella Valley, second only to Indio.
The locals call it “Cat City” which is short of course for Cathedral City. Others like historians claim that came from the reputation as a slinger gaming gulch in the late 19th century, and a safe haven for bars or saloons during prohibition of the 1920s.
The Cathedral City downtown revitalization program started in the late 1990s with much completed by 2005. A new City Hall was built along with a new IMAX/ Mary Pickford movie theater complex plus a total of 130 acres of new or remodeled stores.
Date Palm Country Club and golf course construction began in 1967 and opened in 1971. It has an 18-hole “executive style” facility designed by Ted Robinson, ASCCA and features 3,100 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 58. It is landscaped in Bermuda Greens and includes lakes and sand traps. The most memorable tee is the 175 yard 8th hole, which has an accurate tee shot over a lake. The Phil Harris Golf Classic was held there for many years from the 1940s to his death in 1994. Though built on part of the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation, an exclusive retirement community of manufactured homes lines the greens.
The Big League Of Dreams Sports Park softball complex on the corner of Date Palm and Dinah Shore Drives is made up of four softball fields designed as replicas of four major league ballparks. The Pepsi All-Star Softball Game has been held there since 1998 and the Cathedral City Soccer Park is a new sports facility.
Cathedral City High School opened in 1991 is a major educational and recreational center to the city. The varsity football, basketball and soccer teams had earned CIF-southern California championship titles.
The city was the teenage home of actress Suzanne Somers (she still maintains a second home in nearby Palm Desert), and a winter residence for actors Robert Duvall and Martin Landau in the 1960s, and TV show host Monty Hall in the 1990s.
Forest Lawn – Cathedral City Cemetery and Desert Memorial Park are located in Cathedral City. The city is also home to the only Gay Veterans Memorial. These parks are across Ramon Boulevard from each other. The cemeteries are visited by many tourists because of those who are buried there among them are Frank Sinatra, Congressman Sonny Bono, Alice Faye, Phil Harris, “Papa” John Phillips, Jane Wyman, Dinah Shore, George Montgomery, Cameron Mitchell, Harold Robbins, Busby Berkeley, William Powell, Betty Hutton, Guy Madison, Buddy Rogers and many more.
The city’s several local golf resorts and tourism attractions provide a key element of the local economy for Cathedral City. It is the site of Lawrence Welk‘s Desert Oasis Hotel and resort located in the beautiful Cathedral Canyon Country Club. Other golf courses are the De Anza Palm Springs Country Club and Mobile Home Park, the Outdoor Resorts RV Golf Club Palm Springs, and the Doral Desert Princess Resort and Golf Club.
There is a large automotive mega-dealership known as the Palm Springs Auto Mall based on the city limits with Palm Springs except the dealership lies in the Cathedral City side of State route 111 and Perez Road.
The city is also rich with other retail shops and business and has a variety of restaurants too.
Cathedral City, CA Housing
The median home value in Cathedral City (zip 92234), CA, is $181,300. Home appreciation is -13.31% over the last year. The median age of Cathedral City (zip 92234), CA, real estate is 21 years.
Renters make up 26.85% of the Cathedral City (zip 92234), CA, population. 22.49% of houses and apartments in Cathedral City (zip 92234), CA, are unoccupied (vacancy rate)
The city is comprised of various neighborhoods, some gated with a Homeowners Association and some with limited access that provides for less traffic and noise.
The predominate style of homes are the single-family ranch homes in Cathedral City with stucco siding, tiles roofs and double car attached garages.
Because of its rich Hispanic heritage, Cathedral City hosts an annual Mexican Independence Day festival on the third weekend of September and also has an “el Grito de Dolores” celebration to commemorate the event at the city hall/movie theater complex. Cathedral City has an economic partnership with the Mexican state of Jalisco, a large source of local immigration. Chicano folk musician Lalo Guerrero lived in Cathedral City in his final years.
Demographics & Education
Although full results of the 2010 census are not yet available for this city, according to the 2009 US census estimates 52,432 people resided in Cathedral City, making it larger than neighboring Palm Springs and the second largest city based on population in the entire Coachella Valley, second only to Indio.
Cathedral City public schools are a part of the Palm Springs Unified School District, http://www.psusd.us.
Arts, Culture & Entertainment
The greater area is rich in arts, entertainment and culture. The following are all withing a short drive of Cathedral City and are shared by all of the desert communities.
- The McCallum Theater has gained acclaim as one of the country’s finest presenting theaters by audiences, entertainers and peers alike. It is a state-of-the-art performing arts center whose vision it is to enhance and enrich the lives of desert residents by making the performing arts available to as many people as possible. This is a must see venue.
- Art Galleries- The area is rich in art and artists. This has created the need for lots of art galleries. A list can be found HERE.
- Theater- Palm Springs is home to wonderful small theater. From The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies to The Palm Canyon Theater and The Camelot Theaters for Indy Films, Cat City and the surrounding area has it all. And don’t forget the great movie venues including an IMAX that hosts the best in large format films. Also well known is the Annenburg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum.
Parks And Recreation
- Agua Caliente Park
- Century Park
- Memorial Park
- Panorama Park
- Patriot Park
- Second Street Park
- Soccer Park
- Town Square
Nearby Palm Desert is home to CSU San Bernardino at Palm Desert, CA and The College Of The Desert. Both schools are well recognized for their curriculum that are useful for continuing and degree education and schools for the trades.
Nearby in Palm Springs is Desert Regional Medical Center. In Rancho Mirage is Eisenhower Medical Center along with the Betty Ford Clinic and the Lucy Curci Cancer Center. Additionally Eisenhower has medical clinics around the desert including one in Cathedral City.
Cathedral City Zip Codes are: 92234 and 92235
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