Fate of Historic Valley Buildings Uncertain
While one non-profit organization works to make a Palm Springs business a historical designation, another is appealing the demolition of an iconic building in Rancho Mirage. Video by kmir6.comvideo
While one non-profit organization works to make a Palm Springs business a historical designation, another is appealing the demolition of an iconic building in Rancho Mirage.
Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage are both steeped in rich Old Hollywood history, and architecture.
Organizations are pushing to preserve buildings, even though some owners and the public are against it.
The city of Palm Springs will cast the final vote on whether to designate the building that houses The Alley a historic site.
It was the Robinson Department Store in 1958.
"The building is a very excellent example of mid-century architecture, it was sort of the jewel of the time at that corner, Liberace showed up the day it opened," said Palm Springs Preservation Foundation member, Erik Rosenow.
But the owner of The Alley told us on the phone he is concerned about losing property value and the challenges of trying to renovate a historical building.
However, Palm Springs Preservation Foundation says it should give the building good value.
"It was built beautifully in 1958, it's going to try to stay that way, if he wants to make changes, there's a process he goes through with the city, but it's not a huge process," said Rosenow.
In Rancho Mirage. the fate of the former Chart House stands in the balance.
"It's very unfortunate that we've lost the one building, the most iconic building in the city," said Rancho Mirage city attorney, Steve Quintanilla.
It was severely damaged by fire in January.
Since then, some residents complained the sight was a nuisance.
In August, the owner applied to demolish it.
But Palm Springs Modern Committee appealed, now an environmental study is underway.
"We decided to retain a consultant to conduct this study, and so we anticipate the initial study is going to be finalized sometime next week," said Quintanilla.
After the study is released next week, there will be a public comment period.
"Because it did go through the historic designation process there is a certain process that we need to go through to address any sort of potential impacts on the building you know losing its historic nature," said Rancho Mirage interim community development director, Bud Kopp.
The city says in about a month we will know the final fate of the historic business.
The cause of the old Chart House building fire has not yet be released.