Crews will break ground Friday on the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians’ 5.8-acre cultural center in downtown Palm Springs.
Set to open in 2020, the center will include a museum, bathhouse, plaza, gardens and an “Oasis Trail” snaking between the museum and spa.
Tribal officials announced plans to build the center last fall, which followed announcements of a new hotel and casino in the Coachella Valley. The cultural center’s groundbreaking will get underway at 9 a.m. at the corner of Indian Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way.
“This new cultural center provides an incredible opportunity to share and celebrate our history, culture and traditions with this community and visitors from around the world,” Tribal Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe said. “Each federally recognized tribe throughout this country has a distinct culture that includes traditions, language, historic clothing and housing styles as well as historical food and medicine preparations. We want to share that with others, as well as acknowledge the fact that we are alive and well today living in the modern world.”
The design of the cultural center by Phoenix-based JCJ Architecture will reflect Agua Caliente traditions of basket weaving and pottery, along with the surrounding desert landscape.
The museum will occupy about 48,000 square feet and feature artworks in multiple galleries, an education center and garden. The 40,000 square-foot spa will include treatment rooms, bathhouses, a tranquility garden, salon, fitness and outdoor mineral pools surrounding the Agua Caliente Hot Mineral Spring, the waters of which are estimated to be more than 12,000 years old, according to tribal officials.
The Oasis Trail will feature terraces, a waterfall, sandy beach, fire pits and a meditation labyrinth.
“This cultural center will allow us to reconnect to our own cultural heritage while sharing it with others,” Grubbe said.
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