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Cathedral City, California

City of Cathedral City
Cathedral City Hall
Cathedral City Hall
Location in Riverside County and the state of California
Location in Riverside County and the state of California
City of Cathedral City is located in USA
City of Cathedral City
Location in the United States
Coordinates: [1]
Country  United States
State  California
County Riverside
Incorporated November 16, 1981[2]
 • Mayor Stan Henry[3]
 • Total 21.756 sq mi (56.349 km2)
 • Land 21.499 sq mi (55.683 km2)
 • Water 0.257 sq mi (0.666 km2)  1.18%
Elevation[1] 328 ft (100 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)[5]
 • Total 51,200
 • Estimate (2013)[5] 52,977
 • Density 2,400/sq mi (910/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 92234–92235
Area codes 442/760
FIPS code 06-12048
GNIS feature IDs 1656454, 2409412
Website .gov.cathedralcitywww

Cathedral City is a city in Riverside County, California, United States. Locals gave it the nickname "Cat City".[6] The population was 51,200 at the 2010 census. 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 is the second largest in population in the Coachella Valley, after Indio.[7]

The town's name derives from "Cathedral Canyon" to the south of the town, so named in 1850 by Colonel Henry Washington because its rock formations were reminiscent of a cathedral. The city itself started as a housing subdivision in 1925, but was not incorporated until 1981. The city grew in population several times over during the next two decades.


  • History 1
    • Depression era nightclubs 1.1
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics and diversity 3
    • 2010 3.1
    • Local cultural diversity 3.2
    • 2000 3.3
  • Economy 4
  • Parks and recreation 5
    • Golf 5.1
  • Government 6
  • Education 7
  • Notable people 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Cathedral City had a downtown revitalization program started in the late 1990s, with much completed by 2005. A new City Hall was built as was the IMAX/Mary Pickford movie theater complex, and a total of 130 acres (0.53 km2) of new or remodeled stores.

Depression era nightclubs

In 1931 Al and Lou Wertheimer of the reputed Detroit "Purple Gang" opened the Dunes Club just outside of Palm Springs' city limits. This was followed in 1939 by Earl T. Sausser's 139 Club and the Cove Club in 1941, built by Jake Katelman and Frank Portnoy.[8][9]


According to the United States Census Bureau, Cathedral City has a total area of 21.8 square miles (56 km2), of which, 21.5 square miles (56 km2) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) of it (1.18%) is water.

Demographics and diversity


The 2010 United States Census[12] reported that Cathedral City had a population of 51,200. The population density was 2,353.3 people per square mile (908.6/km²). The racial makeup of Cathedral City was 32,537 (63.5%) White (32.3% Non-Hispanic White),[5] 1,344 (2.6%) African American, 540 (1.1%) Native American, 2,562 (5.0%) Asian, 55 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 12,008 (23.5%) from other races, and 2,154 (4.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 30,085 persons (58.8%).

The Census reported that 50,905 people (99.4% of the population) lived in households, 263 (0.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 32 (0.1%) were institutionalized.

There were 17,047 households, out of which 6,574 (38.6%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 7,589 (44.5%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,291 (13.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,176 (6.9%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,054 (6.2%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 779 (4.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 4,292 households (25.2%) were made up of individuals and 2,259 (13.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.99. There were 11,056 families (64.9% of all households); the average family size was 3.67.

The population was spread out with 13,856 people (27.1%) under the age of 18, 4,906 people (9.6%) aged 18 to 24, 12,948 people (25.3%) aged 25 to 44, 12,127 people (23.7%) aged 45 to 64, and 7,363 people (14.4%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.0 years. For every 100 females there were 105.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.2 males.

There were 20,995 housing units at an average density of 965.0 per square mile (372.6/km²), of which 10,769 (63.2%) were owner-occupied, and 6,278 (36.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 4.2%; the rental vacancy rate was 11.0%. 30,236 people (59.1% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 20,669 people (40.4%) lived in rental housing units.

During 2009–2013, Cathedral City had a median household income of $44,406, with 20.5% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[5]

Local cultural diversity

The 2010 United States Census estimates placed the city's Latino percentage at over 60%. The bulk of Latinos live in the city's older, central section and in the area along Ramon Road between Cathedral Canyon Drive and Landau Boulevard and the Mid Valley Parkway, a section once known as "the Square Mile" but now commonly referred to by the city's denizens as "Little Mexico". But since then the section was nicknamed the "Diversity District" due to other immigrant and ethnic groups (i.e. Armenians, Filipinos, Salvadorans and Vietnamese as examplatory) established small shops and stores selling ethnic-themed goods.

To the city's west, along Ramon Road and San Luis Rey Drive, is an area of multi-racial low-income "Dream Homes" or called "the Circle" adjacent to the Palm Springs International Airport. Two other largely Hispanic sections of Cathedral City are "the Golden Mile" on Date Palm Drive, from Ramon Road to 30th Avenue and "el Barrio Viejo," also on Date Palm from Dinah Shore to Gerald Ford Drives. The North end or "Rimlon" a typo based on "Ramon" or "Landau" Roads is an upper-middle class and affluent housing tract, with the city's highly dense populated Minerva Road Christmas light extravaganza held every evening in December when it is nicknamed "Candy Cane Lane".

One third of Cathedral City consists of one-square-mile land parcels of the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation, which also includes much of Palm Springs. They and the nearby desert resort city are home to a large LGBT community. The renovated/gentrified downtown Cathedral City or "the (Cathedral) Cove" became a popular cultural niche for Gay and Lesbian couples with two of the valley's largest gay bars and a major private gay resort located in downtown proper. Cathedral City is also home to a large Jewish population, said to the United Jewish Citizens of the Desert based in Palm Desert.

Cathedral City's population growth and suburban sprawl was based on recent waves of immigration and minority groups purchased homes and apartments. According to the 2006 United States Census estimates, about half (50.0%) of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. But a 2006 study by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce puts the city's Latino percentage at over 60%. The largest ethnicity represented are Mexican and Mexican-American/Chicano, with additional large numbers of Colombians and Central American nationalities.


As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 42,647 people, 14,027 households, and 9,622 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,224.0 people per square mile (858.5/km²). There were 17,893 housing units at an average density of 933.1 per square mile (360.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 65.3% White, about half (50%) of the population is Hispanic or Latino. 2.7% Black or African American, 1.0% Native American, 3.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 23.1% from other races, and 4.1% from two or more races.

According to the 2000 Census, Cathedral City had a total of 14,027 households, 39.3% of which had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.7% of which were married couples living together, 11.9% of which had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% of which were non-families. Approximately 23% of all households were made up of individuals with 11.0% of them consisting of single individuals 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03 people and the average family size was roughly three and a half people (3.63), which puts Cathedral City above both the California and U.S. averages in those categories.

As reported in the most recent census, the city's population was distributed across all age groups, with 31.1% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 17.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 102.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.0 males. Cathedral City has many senior citizen communities and mobile home parks.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,887, and the median income for a family was $42,461. Men had a median income of $29,598, and the median income for women was $25,289. The per capita income for the city was $16,215. About 10.2% of families and 13.6% of the total population had incomes below the poverty line, including 16.3% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over (senior citizens, this despite the fact that many consider Cathedral City a retirement haven for snowbirds, and RV or mobile home parks are scattered throughout the city.


Cathedral City has an automotive mega-dealership known as the Palm Springs Auto Mall based on the city limits with Palm Springs.

Cathedral City hosts an annual Mexican Independence Day festival on every third weekend of September; to commemorate the event an "el Grito de Dolores" is held at the city hall/movie theater complex.

Parks and recreation

Date Palm Country Club and golf course, designed in 1967 and opened in 1971, has an 18-hole "executive style" facility designed by Ted Robinson, ASCCA. It features 3,100 yards (2,800 m) of golf from the longest tees for a par of 58. The course rating is 54.9/57.2 and it has a slope rating of 90/93. 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 year 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 Dreams Sports Park softball complex is on the corner of Date Palm and Dinah Shore drives, made up of four softball fields designed as replicas of four major league ballparks. The Pepsi All-Star Softball Game was held there since 1998. Cathedral City Soccer Park is a new sports facility.

Parks in Cathedral City are[14]

  • Agua Caliente Park
  • Century Park
  • Memorial Park
  • Panorama Park
  • Patriot Park
  • Second Street Park
  • Soccer Park
  • Town Square


Several local golf resorts are in Cathedral City.[15] These include Lawrence Welk's Desert Oasis Hotel/resort located in the Cathedral Canyon Country Club, the Date Palm Country Club, Outdoor Resort – Palm Springs, Cimarron Golf Resort, and the Doral Desert Princess Resort and Golf Club.


In the California State Legislature, Cathedral City is in the 28th Senate District, represented by Republican Jeff Stone, and in the 56th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Eduardo Garcia.[16]

In the United States House of Representatives, Cathedral City is in California's 36th congressional district, represented by Democrat Raul Ruiz.[17]


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 runs in the late 1990s and 2000s. Cathedral City is also home to Mayfield College,[18] a private college that offers career training in health care, HVAC, technology, and business.

Notable people

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. Timothy Bradley, the former WBO welterweight champion, is also from Cathedral City and graduated from Cathedral City High School.[19][20][21] Frank Sinatra's grave is located in Desert Memorial Park cemetery, as are several other prominent figures including actor William Powell and singer-songwriter Sonny Bono, former mayor of Palm Springs. Chicano folk musician Lalo Guerrero lived in Cathedral City in his final years.


  1. ^ a b "Cathedral City".  
  2. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of  
  3. ^ "Mayor & Council". Cathedral City. Retrieved December 14, 2014. 
  4. ^ "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California".  
  5. ^ a b c d "Cathedral City (city) QuickFacts".  
  6. ^ Gunther, Jane Davies (1984). Riverside County, California, Place Names. Riverside, CA. p. 106.  
  7. ^ [2] Archived November 26, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Moruzzi, Peter (2009). Palm Springs Holiday. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith. pp. 39–42.  
  9. ^ Artist Carlo Wahlbeck, resident of Palm Springs, is the owner of 29 wood panels that used to hang in the now-demolished 139 Club. The panels were autographed and doodled on in the 1930s and early 1940s by the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Betty Grable, Jack Benny, Cole Porter, Fanny Brice, Gracie Allen, George Burns, Rosalind Russell and others.
  10. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA – Cathedral City city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  14. ^ Cathedral City : Parks
  15. ^ Cathedral City California Resort Life
  16. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 
  17. ^ "California's 36th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. 
  18. ^ Mayfield College
  19. ^ Manny Pacquiao wins WBO review, wants Timothy Bradley rematch – ESPN
  20. ^
  21. ^ COLUMN: Catharsis for Timothy Bradley

External links

  • Official website
  • Cathedral City, California at DMOZ
  • The Desert Sun, Coachella Valley Newspaper
  • U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Cathedral Canyon
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