As construction of the new Civic Center and Port of Long Beach Headquarters moves forward, the efforts of Long Beach Heritage to save the original mural on the former Port Headquarters continues. Our organization has been working on this project for the past 3 years and we have achieved a real measure of success. The mural is a beautiful example of art tile and a very important piece of Long Beach history. The mural was manufactured by the Gladding McBean Company and installed on the Port building in 1959. It measures 74 feet in width and tells the story of the discovery of San Pedro Bay by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542 through the development of the Port of Long Beach in 1959. The method used is direct painting on the tile bisque and the detail is incredible. The artist was Paul Marciel Souza. The architects were Warren Dedrick and James R Friend. Long Beach Heritage thinks this piece of history is much too important to lose. It can be re-installed at a different location and continue to be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike, much like the WPA mural removed from the Municipal Auditorium and relocated at what is now Harvey Milk Park on the Promenade
To date, the efforts to save the mural have been somewhat daunting. Long Beach Heritage first needed to determine if it was even viable to do so. We hired a very well respected tile and stone consultant company to research the mural and it was discovered that it could be removed. The Port of Long Beach contributed to the research effort by financing the second phase of the research- a test removal of some tile and the subsequent removal protocol. We have selected the contractor to safely remove the mural, catalog it and pack it for storage. We estimate that this work will cost $150,000. At this point in time we have $100,000 towards that goal. This generous donation was provided by family of Warren Dedrick, one if the original architects. We are already doing outreach for a new home for it, but the timely removal is our main priority. The Port plans on demolishing the building in summer 2018.
Long Beach Heritage respectfully requests your help in reaching our financial goal for saving the mural. The Port mural is an important piece of Long Beach history and deserves to be saved. Your donation, which is tax deductible, will allow us to save this wonderful piece of tile art and Long Beach history for generations to come.
Thank you so much for your support of this worthy project.