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Long Beach's Monolithic Civic Center Could Get Huge Makeover

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Early plans are in the works for a major upgrade of Long Beach's mostly-reviled Civic Center--the city council recently approved a request for qualifications from developers interested in upgrading the Brutalist structure envisioned by Hugh and Don Gibbs in the '70s; the building apparently was greeted warmly at its 1977 opening, and the latter in the father-son architecture team stands by the design. This is how Streetsblog describes the Civic Center: "the space is absolutely desolate minus the handful of homeless men and women who gather at Lincoln Park. The library is continually faced with flood and leaking issues since Gibbs created a now-defunct rooftop garden on a flat space with no drainage system. Concrete pillars create vicious wind tunnels. Sunlight--metaphorically and often literally--rarely reaches the space." The city's assistant city manager called the Civic Center "functionally obsolete" and anti-pedestrian. A redesign, which is necessary for seismic concerns as well as aesthetic ones, could cost around $170 million. Last year, architects took a stab at reimagining the Civic Center space, with all of them keeping Gibbs's imposing tower.
· Long Beach: City Approves RFQ to Redesign 'Functionally Obsolete' Civic Center [Streetsblog]