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Long Beach : Bank, Medical Buildings Given Historical Status

December 01, 1988

The Farmers and Merchants Bank Office Tower, a 1923 steel and terra cotta building, and the 1929 Long Beach Professional Building have been named local historical landmarks.

In making the two buildings landmarks, the Long Beach City Council brings the structures under the purview of the city's Cultural Heritage Commission, which will review any plans to change or demolish the buildings. While the commission cannot block modifications or demolitions, it can delay them for up to a year while negotiating with a property owner to save a structure or maintain its historical character.

The 10-story bank tower, 320 Pine Ave., was the city's first skyscraper, introducing the modern era of building design to Long Beach. Classic detail work in the form of urns, scrollwork and a shell pattern decorate the exterior. The professional building, 117 E. 8th St., was the first large office building in Long Beach occupied exclusively by medical professionals. The 8-story building is a late example of Art Deco, with elements of 1930s style.

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