Today we bid farewell to the old Long Beach Courthouse, designed by Kenneth S. Wing and Francis J. Heusel, 1960, demolished March 2016.
These photos taken earlier this week are by architectural historian Dr. Louise Ivers of Long Beach Heritage, a great voice in the campaign to save and adaptively reuse the building. The Cultural Landscape Foundation, Docomomo SoCal (pdf link) and the Los Angeles Conservancy were also on the case.
A Long Beach Press-Telegram article from 2013 includes many of the reasons the city gave for wanting to knock down all the buildings in its neglected mid-century Civic Center.
Why has Long Beach been in such a rush to demolish everything and not consider adaptive reuse options? Perhaps because the city is dead set on handing a clean slate of cleared public land over to a private developer.
Thank you, Dr. Ivers, for bearing witness to this week’s ugly end to a good building. This is the hardest part of a preservationist’s work. May the pain of loss give strength for your next battle. Onward!