The Desert Star was designed by Howard Lapham and completed in 1956. It was one of his earliest projects in the Palm Springs area.

Lapham's work included the Manzanita House in Deepwell and the Rockstrom Building in Palm Springs. He also designed the Charlie Swanson Residence and the Debbie Reynolds Residence. His most famous renovation was the Chi Chi Nightclub in 1959. One of Lapham's largest residential projects was the Mayan-themed Cook House, known as Ichpa Mayapan, built atop Thunderbird Heights in 1970.

Lapham officially retired in the 1980's, although he continued to maintain an office in Palm Springs until his death in 2008 at the age of 92.

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