La Quinta is rich with historical and prehistoric heritage both within the boundaries of the City and in the surrounding area. Thanks in great part to its on again/off again proximity to the shoreline of Ancient Lake Cahuilla, La Quinta is located in one of California's highest concentrations of archaeological and paleontological sites which date back 2,000 plus years. The area is home to numerous important prehistoric and historic resources including many structures eligible for national and local historic recognition.
Identify and Preserve
To acknowledge, protect and promote these important resources, the City of La Quinta has established a number of goals and policies regarding historic preservation as part the Cultural Resources Element in its General Plan. To implement these goals and policies, the City adopted its Historic Preservation Ordinance in 1992. This ordinance established the City’s Historic Preservation Commission and provided the basis for the City’s certification as a Certified Local Government through the State of California Office of Historic Preservation.
To tell the story of La Quinta, the City has prepared a Draft Historic Context Statement, which provides a history of the area and identifies the important events and the role the area, now known as La Quinta, has played throughout our past. Along with the Context Statement, the City has conducted two Historic Resources Surveys identifying the numerous properties and structures that have contributed to the area’s history. To enhance the usability of the information in these surveys, the City has digitized the resulting inventory of historic resource information and has now made it easily accessible online by clicking on the link below.
History on Display
Evidence of the City's commitment to preserving and promoting its history is highlighted by the development and operation of the La Quinta Museum which is located adjacent to the historic La Quinta Village District in the La Quinta Cove, the City's first residential area. The Museum features artifacts and exhibits regarding the history of La Quinta as well as exhibits of regional, State and national interest.
Historic Sites Tour
The City has produced a combined driving and walking tour brochure identifying many of the historic resource sites in the City. These sites range from the waterline of Ancient Lake Cahuilla to the iconic La Quinta Resort Hotel and grounds. Copies of this brochure are available at the La Quinta Museum, La Quinta Library, and La Quinta City Hall. For more information click on the link below.
Information and Organizations
All of these documents, as well as the interactive database and map of the City’s surveyed resources, are available by following the links contained on this page. Additional links to a variety of historic preservation information and numerous related organizations are provided on the Historic Preservation Links page.
If you have any questions regarding the information on this page please contact the
La Quinta Design and Development Department at 760-777-7118
Last Updated: October 30, 2012