Design Approved for Downtown's Ocean Center Building

by Joe Segura (Reprinted from the Press Telegram (2008)

An 18-month effort was capped when the Cultural Heritage Commission approved the conceptual design for modifications to the historic landmark Ocean Center Building. The 1928 landmark, with its whitewashed exterior that presents a stark contrast to the neighboring modern marble-slabbed structures, is on the southwest corner of Pine Avenue and Ocean Boulevard.

The building, according to Interstices architect Jonathan Glasgow, was originally built as a mixed-use retail and office building. The mixed-use feature will shift to retail and residential-the latter with 82 boutique hotel rooms and 18 condominiums, Glasgow said.

The archway at the base of the building along Pine initially served as the entrance to the original Pike Amusement Park. The base of the building was right on the beach at the time of construction, according to Glasgow. Swimming pools and sun decks will be introduced to two of the roof-tops, the architect said. A unique feature of the project is a lantern cupola that originally capped the tower. Glasgow noted it was removed after the 1933 earthquake. Long Beach-based Interstices, according to Glasgow, has designed several other adaptive reuse projects in the city, including the Kress Building, the Walker Building, the Newberry Building and Courtyard Lofts.

Top Illustration: Proposed restoration of the Ocean Center Building by Interstices.

Above Photo: Historic Photo