Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Historic Office Building

Just thought I would share a spot of history on the lovely and historic Ocean Center Building where I currently work everyday. It is rich and history and I love looking at all the old photos that are used as wallpaper throughout the building.

It is significant as the first modern office building, rising to the city's height limit at that time. A charming Italian Mediterranean office building which is terraced down the bluff, where its lower archway linked up with the Pike's Walk of a Thousand Lights. The octagonal tower with terra cotta tile roof is a visual landmark of the Long Beach skyline; however, its lantern is missing. The entry dooryway is crowned by a broken pediment, adorned by a shield with sea shells and the face of Neptune. The interior is also well preserved. Following the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, the fifty-foot concrete tower and lantern, two hundred twenty-eight feet from street level, were removed in June, 1934. In 1936, the building was renovated and today the building remains essentially unchanged, and serves as a point of reference in the Long Beach skyline. The architects are most famous for some of their Hollywood Buildings: Grauman's Chinese Theater and the Egyptian Theater.

The building's exterior, its massing, stepped setbacks, central tower, turrets, parapets and exterior ornamentation are its most significant elements.

The entryway and lobby corridor contain important historic design and material features that should be maintained and preserved without alteration. These are: the marble terrazzo floor, painted entryway ceiling, marble walls and wainscot and mahogany wood panels.

The building was designed to take advantage of ocean views by being terraced fourteen stories down the bluff. The north elevation of the building, facing Ocean Boulevard, is thirteen stories and incorporates a broken pediment and a shield with sea shells and the face of Neptune over the front entry. There is a balcony at the seventh floor front under a pediment with brackets. Formal pediments and battlements decorate all four sides. There is an arcade at the base of the building under the bluff which was intended to serve visitors to the Pike. The building is capped by an octagonal tower which originally held a fifty-foot concrete tower and lantern. A smaller tower decorates the rear of the building. The building is attractive from all sides, utilizing picturesque massing and several Mediterranean design features.

The building with the new Pike in the backdrop

The old Pike.

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