Long Beach Art Deco

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At 5:55 p.m. on March 10, 1933, Southern California was rocked by a massive earthquake. Wood-frame bungalows lost their chimneys, and engineered concrete buildings suffered minimal damage. But unreinforced masonry buildings near the epicenter failed catastrophically, and Long Beach was particularly hard hit. Nearly three-quarters of the school buildings, as well as many other structures, were rendered unusable until repaired or rebuilt. The Art Deco style, in addition to being fashionably modern in 1933, met the criteria of earthquake safety, and many new structures showed its influence. Both the Zigzag Moderne style of the 1920s, which boasted many structures that survived the earthquake, and the Streamline Moderne style that came into vogue in the 1930s relied on sleek lines with decoration incorporated into the design. This volume celebrates, in both word and image, the Long Beach that rose from the rubble to become a premier Art Deco city. At 5:55 p.m. on March 10, 1933, Southern California was rocked by a massive earthquake. Wood-frame bungalows lost their chimneys, and engineered concrete buildings suffered minimal damage. But unreinforced masonry buildings near the epicenter failed catastrophically, and Long Beach was particularly hard hit. Nearly three-quarters of the school buildings, as well as many other structures, were rendered unusable until repaired or rebuilt. The Art Deco style, in addition to being fashionably modern in 1933, met the criteria of earthquake safety, and many new structures showed its influence. Both the Zigzag Moderne style of the 1920s, which boasted many structures that survived the earthquake, and the Streamline Moderne style that came into vogue in the 1930s relied on sleek lines with decoration incorporated into the design. This volume celebrates, in both word and image, the Long Beach that rose from the rubble to become a premier Art Deco city.
 

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About the author (2006)

Authors Suzanne Tarbell Cooper and John W. Thomas are board members of the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles. J. Christopher Launi is a local photographer with an extensive collection of architectural photographs. In addition to these images, the authors were able to draw upon the archives of the Long Beach Library, the Long Beach Historical Society, and Long Beach Heritage, among others, to present a remarkable look at the Art Deco treasures of this community.

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