When Melissa Riche was moving to Rancho Mirage in 2012, the unimaginable occurred.
The Chart House restaurant (aka GG’s Island restaurant), a Highway 111 landmark and a recipient of a historical resource designation by the city of Rancho Mirage in 2005, was gutted by fire. The structure was built in 1978 and its striking organic architecture, often described as looking like a giant sea creature marooned in the desert, was created by Kendrick Bangs Kellogg, an internationally renowned architect responsible for the Doolittle House in Joshua Tree and the Onion House in Kona, Hawaii.
Though the building was extensively damaged, Palm Springs ModCom and PSPF (Palm Springs Preservation Foundation) advocated for its restoration. Even Kellogg volunteered to help with the rebuild. Inexplicably, a year later, the Rancho Mirage City Council voted to demolish the building’s remains. Ten years later, it is still an empty dirt lot.