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In this Issue:

  • SHUTTERED PORT ADMINISTRATION BUILDING MURAL IN JEOPARDY
  • Buy Tickets Now for Craftsman Educational Event on April 10
  • Historic Alamitos Branch Library Will Soon Receive Landmark Status
  • 2016 Award Winners
  • Volunteer Spotlight: Michele St. Peter
  • North Pine Ave Walking Tour
  • Mills Act is Active Again
  • Great Homes Tour Long Beach
  • Bembridge News
  • Membership Report: March 2016

 

SHUTTERED PORT ADMINISTRATION BUILDING MURAL IN JEOPARDY

Port of Long Beach Mural in Jeopardy

By Louise Ivers

The Port of Long Beach Administration Building at 925 Harbor Plaza Drive is enclosed in one of the dreaded green fences that preservationists fear marks the death knell of an historic structure. Despite efforts to save it, the distinctive tile clad building will be demolished in 2017. Long Beach Heritage members Emily Tanaka and Louise Ivers attended a Port Commissioners meeting two years ago and presented information about the Gladding McBean mural on the façade to them. They voted to save this 74 foot wide work of art, which depicts the history of the Port of Long Beach, designed by Sheridan Stanton and Paul Souza. However, now the administrators are having second thoughts about saving the mural because of the cost involved in this project and the Port Commission will be voting again soon to determine its fate. It would be a terrible shame to see this unique work, the largest one of its kind in the area, turned into a pile of rubble.

In 1956 the previous Harbor Department Building at 1333 El Embarcadero, built in 1940 and designed by Warren Dedrick, was sinking badly due to subsidence caused by off shore oil drilling. The Port Commission chose a site on Pier A for a new structure and in March 1957 local architects Warren Dedrick and James R. Friend produced a perspective drawing of the now abandoned building. Ground was broken on 16 June 1958 and the first foundation piling was driven into place by William A. Harrington, president of the Long Beach Harbor Commission, and Sally Cannon, a ten year old girl. On 28 September the Los Angeles Times reproduced a photograph of the steel skeleton of the seven story $3,000,000 structure, which was rapidly rising on the pier. The mural, composed of numerous... Click Here to Read the Full Article.