The new Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza features a new Agua Caliente Cultural Museum and The Spa at Séc-he (open). The Cultural Plaza celebrates the sacred Agua Caliente Hot Mineral Spring and includes a Gathering Plaza, gardens and an Oasis Trail.
Inspiration for the Cultural Plaza’s design includes Agua Caliente traditions. These include basket weaving and pottery (ollas) and elements found in nature including desert landscapes. It also includes Andreas Canyon rock formations, the Andreas Canyon stream and the Washingtonia filifera palm trees.
JCJ Architecture of Phoenix is the project designer. Penta Building Group is the general contractor. JCJ Architecture’s design concept for the cultural center reflects the Tribe’s values and ongoing commitment to the Agua Caliente people.
The Cultural Plaza includes numerous outdoor activity spaces, including a Gathering Plaza adjacent to the Agua Caliente Hot Mineral Spring. It is originally known as Séc-he (the sound of boiling water), which serves as a commemorative focal point for the new development. Here, tribal members and visitors can celebrate community, history and pay respect to the life-giving waters that helped shape the Palm Springs region. Visitors can readily access the Gathering Plaza along landscaped terraces and pathways.
An interpretive green belt, the Oasis Trail meanders through the property. It provides an interactive cultural learning environment. This trail recreates the distinctive character, geology, flora and beauty of the nearby Indian Canyons. This is one of the ancestral homes of the Agua Caliente tribe.
The new Museum includes approximately 48,000 square feet. It will feature collections in a main gallery, changing gallery and art gallery. A repository for cultural artifacts, stories and history will also be include an education center and garden.
The water from the Agua Caliente Hot Mineral Spring is estimated to be upwards of 12,000 years old and is truly unique as it contains a mineral make-up that has not been found anywhere else in the world. The Tribe has shared the healing water with visitors for more than 120 years, and the hot spring was the first tourist attraction in Palm Springs. This new spa will be the fifth bathhouse or spa at the site, with the first one operating in the late 1880s. Read more here.
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