69934 Highway 111
Property name: Chart House Restaurant
Architect: Kendrick Bangs Kellogg
Date built: 1978
Status: HPC designated 10/21/2004, damaged by fire in 2012 and demolished
The Chart House Restaurant made clever use of a difficult site and was a spectacular example of “organic modernism.” The low, scalloped and laminated roof combined with incredibly deep eaves and gave the building the appearance of a giant sea creature washed up on some ancient shore. The building won numerous awards and was designated a historic landmark by the city of Rancho Mirage. Damaged by fire in 2012, it was later demolished.
Before and after the railroad was laid through the Coachella Valley, the area was connected to the outside world by stage coach routes, one of which ran through the Rancho Mirage area. The Bradshaw Stage, dating to the 1860s, linked California with Arizona. By 1915, the route was characterized by a graded road that became the Bradshaw Highway and later Highway 111. Hugging the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains roughly paralleling the Whitewater River bed, the highway became the spine of the “cove communities,” of which Rancho Mirage was one. Highway 111 has become Rancho Mirage's commercial zone with shopping centers, restaurants and office buildings.
71490 Highway 111
Property name: Rancho Elephant Car Wash
Architect: Harold Bissner and Bob Pitchford
Date built: 1966
Status: HPC 2003 survey
71991 Highway 111
Property name: Provident Federal Savings
Architect: Gin Wong
Date built: 1982
Built to compliment and harmonize with its desert surroundings, the curved exterior walls consist of Mexican black lava rock joined by grey tinted, full length window sections. Heavy wood beams extend beyond the perimeter walls to form shade trellises over the building's entrances. One of the most stricking features is a massive metal covered facia system that will weather over a period of years and develop a "desert patina" to blend with the surroundings.
70801 Highway 111
Property name: Fire Station #1
Architect: Robert Ricciardi
Date built: 1975
Status: HPC 2003 survey
The first municipal building constructed by the city.
Property address: 72036 Highway 111
Property name: The Glass Castle
Architect: Ross Patten
Date built: 1973
Developed by The Birns Companies for use as a signature interior design center and showroom for Noel F. Birns / Steven De Christopher Professional Interior Design. A circular stairway, designed as a steel sculpture, winds up from the showroom to office suites and was accented by a massive waterfall light fixture. The circular theme continued into a parking rotunda with enriched landscaping of shrubs, specimen trees, planted berms and indigenous rock. The contractor was Patten & Wind.