Future of Chart House Property Still Uncertain
The fate of the former Chart House restaurant continues to hang in the balance. The historic Rancho Mirage restaurant was ravaged by fire just over a year ago. Video by kmir6.comvideo
The fate of the former Chart House restaurant continues to hang in the balance.
The historic Rancho Mirage restaurant was ravaged by fire just over a year ago.
Thursday, city council decided to digest the public's response to proposed demolition before making a decision.
The meeting drew such notable names as Nancy Sinatra and the buildings renowned architect, Ken Kellogg.
The charred, historic building faces demolition, but some people want it reconstructed.
The architect, Kendrick Kellogg, who built the structure in 1978 spoke to Rancho Mirage city council.
"This is a one-of-a-kind, organic architecture that we will never be repeated again for that particular site, and no other site in the world," said Kellogg.
Consumed by fire in January 2012, the city said the structure was entirely destroyed.
"The city had declared the building in its current condition to be a public nuisance and we are the ones who actually be abated or torn down," said Rancho Mirage city attorney, Steven Quintanilla.
But the Palm Springs Modern Committee appealed the demolition.
"California law requires some sort of mitigation for demolition of a historic building like this, and we believe that replicating the building to its original exterior design is absolutely the most appropriate mitigation for what's happened to it," said Peter Moruzzi with the Palm Springs Modern Committee.
But property owner, John Wessman, wants to have the building demolished.
"We're not talking about destroying the Chart House building that we all loved, what we are talking about demolishing is the pile of rubble that sits out there right now," said Wessman's attorney, Emily Hemphill.
But Rancho Mirage resident, Tony Melia said, "It is not. It is an important iconic structure that needs to be preserved."
Many other valley residents spoke up, including Rancho Mirage resident, Nancy Sinatra.
"Please help us protect the legacy of our community, let's rebuild and preserve our iconic buildings, they are very important," said Sinatra.
So the fate of the former Chart House restaurant remains in limbo, but city council will make their decision in the new few weeks.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Calfire said there is a lot of evidence to process and these investigations can take years.