Insurance Exchange Building

Major demands in the housing market have caused revitalization and adaptive reuse of historical landmarks-often vacant and underutilized buildings. The Insurance Exchange building conversion to a mixed-use building is a great example of that trend, with a restaurant in the basement, retail stores on the ground floor, residential lofts on upper floors, and a new penthouse on top.

Insurance Exchange Building - Front

Insurance Exchange Building – Front

The building was designed in 1924 by architect Harvey Lochridge in the Renaissance revival style, and has terra cotta cladding with an outstanding polychrome terra cotta ornamentation. Our developer and architect planned for preservation and restoration of the historical facades of this building, which is an integral part of the Long Beach downtown landscape. The critical fire and building code safety requirements were incorporated in the interior renovation of the structure. The exterior fire escape was relocated, windows replaced or renovated, terrazzo and marble steps were cleaned, and the interior exit stairs were enclosed.

Ebel Auditorium to Loft Conversion

The Ebel Club Auditorium building conversion is an interesting example of innovative thinking in creating new residential possibilities. The developer and architect converted the historical landmark auditorium through spatial transformation of its volume and insertion of eleven residential lofts within the existing exterior.

The one and two-level loft sizes vary from 1,200 to 2,290 Sq. Ft. The existing envelope of an old auditorium building allowed for creating unique lofts with high ceilings on the first floor and two story units on the second level. Roof truss elements seem to perforate new wall divisions and appear in unusual places, rcreating a feeling of modern art.

Ebel Auditorium Lofts - Interior

Ebel Auditorium Lofts – Interior

The modern loft living spaces are reinforced by concrete floors and walls, 8′ high doors, and exposed duct and steel construction elements. The top units mezzanine provides access to a small secluded roof deck with a magnificent view of the Long Beach skyline view. One of the most serious problems the Architect had to resolve was the amount of lighting in the residential lofts, which was quite different from that needed in the dark auditorium. The eastern-facing façade is pierced with large windows, doors, and assembly openings, and enriched with far extending private balconies. The front historical façade and entry were preserved in original form. RPP Architects provided historical landmark designation assistance, land entitlements and timely processing of the building permits as well as construction support services.