Cathedral City, California

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City of Cathedral City
Cathedral City Hall
Cathedral City Hall
Location of Cathedral City in Riverside County, California.
Location of Cathedral City in Riverside County, California.
City of Cathedral City is located in the United States
City of Cathedral City
City of Cathedral City
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 33°46′47″N 116°27′55″W / 33.77972°N 116.46528°W / 33.77972; -116.46528Coordinates: 33°46′47″N 116°27′55″W / 33.77972°N 116.46528°W / 33.77972; -116.46528[1]
Country United States
State California
IncorporatedNovember 16, 1981[2]
 • MayorStan Henry[3]
 • Total22.75 sq mi (58.93 km2)
 • Land22.50 sq mi (58.26 km2)
 • Water0.26 sq mi (0.67 km2)  1.18%
Elevation328 ft (100 m)
 • Total51,200
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,440.09/sq mi (942.36/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
Area codes442/760
FIPS code06-12048
GNIS feature IDs1656454, 2409412

Cathedral City, colloquially known as "Cat City",[7] is a city in Riverside County, California. Its population was 51,200 at the 2010 census. Situated between Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, the city has the second largest population of the nine cities in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area) of Southern California, after Indio.[8]

The city's name is derived from Cathedral Canyon located to the south of the city, named in 1850 by U.S. Army Colonel Henry Washington after deciding a rock formation of the canyon looked reminiscent of a cathedral.[9] The city began as a housing subdivision in 1925, although it was not incorporated until 1981. The population of Cathedral City, along with the surrounding areas, has grown significantly into the 21st century.


Cathedral City began a downtown revitalization program in the late 1990s, which was substantially completed by 2005. A new city hall was built, as well as the IMAX/Mary Pickford movie theater complex, along with a total of 130 acres (0.53 km2) of new or remodeled stores and restaurant space.

Depression era nightclubs[edit]

In 1931, Al and Lou Wertheimer of the reputed Detroit "Purple Gang" opened the Dunes Club just outside 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.[10][11]


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.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201854,902[6]7.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]


The 2010 United States Census[13] 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]


As of the census[14] 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).


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.

One of the world's most technologically advanced cannabis greenhouses is being developed in Cathedral City by the company Sunniva. Once completed, this facility will be approximately 489,000 square feet.

Parks and recreation[edit]

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 years from the 1940s to Phil Harris' 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 next to James Workman Middle school, is where the So Cal Coyotes minor league football team play their games (and also in Rancho Mirage High School stadium).[15] In 2018-19, the So Cal Coyotes changed leagues and now play in Indio, California in Shadow Hills High school football stadium.

9 Parks in Cathedral City are[16]

  • Century Park
  • Memorial Park
  • Ocotillo Park
  • Panorama Park
  • Patriot Park
  • Second Street Park
  • Dennis Keat Soccer Park
  • Town Square
  • Dog Park
  • proposed park on Corta Road and Landau Blvd.


Several local golf resorts are in Cathedral City.[17] 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, seat currently vacant, and in the 56th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Eduardo Garcia.[18]

In the United States House of Representatives, Cathedral City is in California's 36th congressional district, represented by Democrat Raul Ruiz.[19]


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,[20] a private college that offers career training in health care, HVAC, technology, and business.

Notable people[edit]

Timothy Bradley, the former WBO welterweight champion, is from Cathedral City and graduated from Cathedral City High School.[21][22][23]

The city was a winter residence for actors Robert Duvall and Martin Landau in the 1960s,[citation needed] and TV show host Monty Hall in the 1990s.[citation needed]

Chicano folk musician Lalo Guerrero lived in Cathedral City in his final years.

"Dirty John" Meehan lived in a trailer, on his sister Donna Meehan Stewart's RV lot in Cathedral City, before marrying Debra Newell.[24]

Simon Oakland died in the town on August 29, 1983, a day after the actor's 68th birthday.

The city was the teenage home of actress Suzanne Somers'[citation needed] (she still maintains a second home in nearby Palm Springs).[citation needed]

Frank Sinatra's grave is located in Desert Memorial Park cemetery, as are those of several other prominent figures, including actor William Powell, singer-songwriter Sonny Bono, former mayor of Palm Springs, and actress Jane Wyman.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Cathedral City". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  2. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date". California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Archived from the original (Word) on November 3, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  3. ^ "Mayor & Council". Cathedral City. Archived from the original on December 27, 2014. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  4. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Cathedral City (city) QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  7. ^ Gunther, Jane Davies (1984). Riverside County, California, Place Names. Riverside, CA. p. 106. OCLC 12103181.
  8. ^ "Cities: SUB-EST2009-4". Archived from the original on August 5, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
  9. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Cathedral Canyon
  10. ^ Moruzzi, Peter (2009). Palm Springs Holiday. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith. pp. 39–42. ISBN 978-1-4236-0476-1.
  11. ^ 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.[citation needed]
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA – Cathedral City city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  15. ^ "HOME - The SoCal Coyotes". The SoCal Coyotes. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  16. ^ Cathedral City : Parks Archived October 4, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Cathedral City California Resort Life". Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  18. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
  19. ^ "California's 36th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC.
  20. ^ "Mayfield College - Palm Springs-Palm Desert-Cathedral City-Desert Hot Springs-Indio California Colleges". Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  21. ^ "Manny Pacquiao wins WBO review, wants Timothy Bradley rematch". June 21, 2012. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  22. ^ "Lean times, setbacks didn't derail Timothy Bradley". The Desert Sun. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  23. ^ "COLUMN: Catharsis for Timothy Bradley". Archived from the original on June 19, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  24. ^ Goffard, Christopher (October 4, 2017). "Dirty John Part III: Filthy". Los Angeles Times.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]