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Long Beach Civic Center Groundbreaking
Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Is Leading the Landscape Design


Gustafson Guthrie Nichol's landscape design for the Long Beach Civic Center includes revitalization of Lincoln Park, a new civic plaza and restored street grid. The Civic Center is being developed under a public-private partnership with Plenary-Edgemoor Civic Partners and the city of Long Beach. Image credit: SOM

Site excavation for the $520 million Long Beach Civic Center in Long Beach, Calif., began July 18, 2016. The 22-acre site will include a new city hall, a 73,000-square-foot Civic Plaza, a three-level 92,500 square foot Main Public Library at the northern end of Lincoln Park, new offices for the Port of Long Beach, a retail marketplace and expansion and refurbishment of Lincoln Park.

Lincoln Park, at Broadway and Pacific Avenue, is Long Beach's oldest park. Originally named Pacific Park, it was dedicated in 1915 and renamed Lincoln Park, based on the acquisition of a statue of Abraham Lincoln. The park is the most significant green space in downtown Long Beach. It is currently part dog park and homeless encampment, with some exercise classes thrown in.

Citizen feedback expresses hope for a park that showcases public art. Planned upgrades include a 4,500-square-foot playground to the south of the park and a 6,500-square-foot dog park in the park's northern sector. Plans also call for a stage for events and performances.

"The new Civic Center will strengthen the connection between City Hall and the community, help revitalize the downtown core and generate thousands of jobs," said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia.

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol's landscape design is strategically planned to be an inviting and welcoming civic place for a broad demographic of users, morning through night. Thoughtful attention is placed on the integration of active program elements that will draw these users, such as a children's play area, dog park, musician's corner, flexible lawn spaces and public seating. A robust palette of water-wise plants and adapted species will provide additional value.

The civic design includes restoring Long Beach's historic street grid, linking pedestrian spaces through plazas and promenades, opening up site lines to maximize signature views and expanding the city's bike system.

This project is targeting new development LEED Gold certification.

"We are so pleased to be a part of the revitalization of Long Beach's downtown civic core and look forward to seeing the collective vision of the public and project team realized," said Jennifer Guthrie, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol's founding principal.

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) is a landscape architecture firm based in Seattle. Recent and current work includes the National Museum of African American History and Culture, CityCenterDC, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Campus, and Seattle's Pike-Pine Renaissance Streetscape Design Vision. GGN was the recipient of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Landscape Architecture in 2011. The firm's project awards include ASLA National Awards of Excellence, ASLA and AIA Honor Awards for Design, Tucker Design Awards, and Great Places Awards from the Environmental Design Research Association.

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October 13, 2019, 7:15 pm PDT

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