AKA: Long Beach Municipal Auditorium #1, Long Beach, CA

Structure Type: built works - performing arts buildings

Designers: [unspecified]

Dates: constructed 1905

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Long Beach, CA

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Long Beach Municipal Auditorium #1


Long Beach city officials had this wood-frame, waterfront auditorium built next to the municipal pier in 1905. It had Mission Revival styling. For over 25 years, it hosted meetings of cencerts, political rallies and conventions, until it was replaced by a new civic auditorium in 1932.

Built History

The Municipal Auditorium #1 was completed in 1905 at a cost of approximately $30,000.

In 1913, a wood-frame walkway leading to the auditorium collapsed, killing 34 people entering the building during a ceremony celebrating the British Empire. The Los Angeles Times reported a day after the accident: "The Auditorium building was erected by the city of Long Beach eight years ago following a bond issue of $30,000, which amount was expended on its construction. It is located just beyond the high water mark on the east side of the municipal pier. The superstructure was built by George Beard, a constractor, who moved away from Long Beach about four years ago. Charles Carbolay put in the piling under the building under contract for the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Company of San Francisco. The supporting pillars are imbedded in caissons of cement which are under water. The building has a capacity of 6000 persons and was filled to its full capacity many times, the last occasion being the May Day celebration of the Associated Charities. Like many summer resort buildings, it is of flimsy frame construction. Much of the slender timber work shows the decay of age and exposure to the salt air. When first built the galleries were of the suspension kind, but later, about four years ago, supporting pillars were placed under them. Any misgivings which may have been felt concerning the strength and durability of the structure have been partly allayed because so many big gatherings have been held in it. Conventions of all kinds have used it and many times it has held fully 6000 persons at once." (See "Thirty-four Perish in Long Beach Disaster," Los Angeles Times, 09/04/1913, part I, p. 1.)

PCAD id: 234