It is apparent the powers that be in this town are hellbent on reducing Long Beach to a few frames in a museum and a spool or two of microfilm.
This was made alarmingly clear to me during a recent visit to the main library, where the sad, infuriating saga of the doomed Jergins Trust Building (100 East Ocean Blvd.) is tucked away in a file cabinet. The building, even in its present state of internal demolition (the new owners are looting the ornate penthouse and one-of-a-kind mosaic subway for artifacts to display in the new building) is one of the last shreds of evidence linking the City of Long Beach to an appreciation of beauty.
As the file shows, even after intense efforts by concerned citizens, fund-raising functions and demonstrations in front of the building, the powers that be chose not to act and the decision to demolish was made. After all, why keep a cumbersome old landmark when you could have a high-rise hotel go up in its place? Why renovate when there are so many multilevel parking structures waiting to be built downtown?
The scenario is a simple one: start the ball rolling by building a high-density office building. Then "solve" the resulting parking headache by demolishing the very essence of Long Beach. I think developers call this game "redevelopment."