In 2013 during a visit to Palm Springs I shared images of a vacant (and at the time, for sale) hotel and adjacent church. It was The Orchid Tree Inn and the Community Church of Palm Springs, and you can view the first visit here. When we returned to Palm Springs in 2014, the hotel we were staying at was actually right across the street from the Orchid Tree Inn, and it still was vacant and had suffered a major blow. In September of 2013, the church fell victim to a fire.
When we visited in spring of 2014, I snapped pictures, but couldn’t find the words to describe my feelings at the time, and thus didn’t blog about it. Earlier this week we visited Palm Springs once again for Patrick’s annual conference there and I found myself lured to the Orchid Tree Inn for a third time to check in on its state. Sadly, nothing had really changed, but I still snapped photos. I was also prompted to do some more research on the fire and the status of the hotel.
In doing in my research, I came across an article that discussed that the church and Orchid Tree Inn are to be renovated to what is described as a “luxury boutique hotel” and it prompted me to feel a need to share the photos from last year and the recent ones ones I took this week. It is difficult to get fresh photos of a property you can only take photos of from the perimeter, but I just wanted to share these images to help in telling the history and story of the Orchid Tree Inn, and in some way, aiding to its preservation. First let’s take a look at the photos from last year.
Unlike the visit in 2013, the “for sale” signs were gone, and “Private Property – No Trespassing” signs were scattered around the fences and gates to the complex. A large tan wrap clung to the fencing around the now charred church.
The fire is actually the third to occur between the two properties. In 2007 the Orchid Tree Inn suffered from two separate fires in which arson was suspected. These fires destroyed two of the main buildings for the Inn.
As I mentioned, within the last year, nothing has changed really, but I feel any photographs of a property help in preserving its history.
I look forward to what is in store for the property, and how this new “luxury boutique hotel” pans out, including what is completely removed, altered and preserved. Who knows, perhaps this little hotel will become a pet project of mine, in documenting its story during my visits to Palm Springs.