Palm Springs, California (PRWEB) February 13, 2013
Today the Palm Springs Modern Committee (PS Modcom) is sad to announce that the landmark Chart House restaurant in Rancho Mirage is to be demolished. The building was severely damaged in an arson fire in January 2012. Last June, the City issued a demolition order for reasons of public safet
Erected in 1978, the Chart House designed by Kendrick Bangs Kellogg of San Diego is an important example of Organic Modernism: Outside, it's the image of protective desert shelter: the taut vaulted roof stretches down, like the fabric of an umbrella or the shell of a crab, almost to touch the landscape berms rising to meet it.
Inside, however, the heavy timber columns, curving roof ribs, and rubble stone walls wind their way through the restaurant like a well-designed forest. They created layers of space, naturally lighted by a skylight curving along the spine, with an appealing complexity.
The Rancho Mirage City Council denied PS ModCom’s presentation for restoration of the building. This, despite the fact that the independent historic consultant hired by the City found the designated landmark to retain its historic significance even after the fire. Because of this decision, the owner is free to bulldoze the Chart House at any time.
The Palm Springs Modern Committee presented its very first preservation award to the owner of the Chart House and honored its architect, Kendrick Bangs Kellogg, for his monumental achievement. Kellogg attended the ceremony and spoke eloquently about his design of the 1978 building.
Supporting the preservation position were the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation and many members of the community who testified or wrote on behalf of the Chart House.
Architect Kellogg was certain that the property could have been feasibly rebuilt according to a detailed plan he previously developed.
The Palm Springs Modern Committee believes that the preservation community fought the good fight and lost.
And it is with a sad sense of irony that on February 14, 2013 the 50,000 people arriving in Palm Springs to celebrate Modernism Week will find a famed stretch of Rancho Mirage’s once legendary Restaurant Row bereft of a modernist architectural icon.
About Palm Springs Modern Committee
The Palm Springs Modern Committee (PS ModCom) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the appreciation and preservation of Desert Modern architecture and design. We accomplish this through education, advocacy for threatened buildings, promotion of heritage tourism, and the celebration of successes in preservation and adaptive reuse.
For additional information about PS ModCom, please visit: http://www.psmodcom.org