Long Beach Heritage is a nonprofit education and advocacy group promoting public knowledge and preservation of significant historical and architectural resources, neighborhoods, and the cultural heritage of Long Beach.

Written, read and submitted to city council by Maureen Neeley, Advocacy, Long Beach Heritage
562-493-7019. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - [October 22, 2013]

Mayor Foster

Council-members

 

Long Beach Heritage is once again at this podium, with the same message. The Civic Center, designed in the 1970s by a consortium of local Long Beach architects for Long Beach residents, can be retrofitted and renovated to accommodate the needs of our city today.

Our current civic center is a post modern collection of monumental buildings, created by a canon of internationally-known architects.: They read like a who’s who of mid-century icons – Frank Homolka, Edward Killingsworth, Kenneth Wing Sr. and Jr., Hugh and Don Gibbs.

The design won awards and is still considered a prime example of the ideas and forms of the Modern Movement (not Brutalist).

Believe it or not, Long Beach’s Civic Center is on the radar of many preservationists across the United States. Long Beach Heritage, L.A. Conservancy and the USC School of Architecture have been fielding calls, all with the same question: “How can Long Beach even consider razing these iconic structures?”

We ask, instead, that you consider constructing the complete civic center that was originally designed for our city in 1973. This design – which we paid for and is still available for our use - included: coffee houses and retail, a comfortable and welcoming city plaza, expanses of park, a beautiful museum (designed by I.M Pei). This museum, by the way, was designed to include international programming in conjunction with Cal State Long Beach.

All of these amenities are highlighted in the ‘new’ plans presented by three consortiums which will require a ‘Public-Private Partnership’ – a model which has not yet been proven as a friend to taxpayers.

On behalf of preservationists, pragmatists, and taxpayers, we ask that you seriously consider utilizing the original plans which exemplify the post modern movement. A perfect fit – and retrofit - for today.

[photo credit: Mullio, Cara & Jennifer Volland, Long Beach Architecture: The Unexpected Metropolis, 2004]

 

[photo credit: Mullio, Cara & Jennifer Volland, Long Beach Architecture: The Unexpected Metropolis, 2004]

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