Everyone loves a good preservation before and after. But for the community of Long Beach, California, the Palace Hotel (now just called The Palace) restoration and reuse was about much more than the building. Last Wednesday, the community gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the renovated two-story building that now includes 13 apartments for young adults who have aged out of the foster care system.
The renovation of the historic 1929 hotel was spearheaded by LINC Housing, a California statewide organization formed to preserve and create affordable housing. In addition to the 13 studio apartments, the building includes a manager's unit, common areas (like a great roof deck), and offices for program services. The ground floor retail space will be occupied by iCracked, a mobile phone and tablet repair service that will hire residents from The Palace.
"It's been incredibly rewarding to watch the transformation of this historic building, and it will be even more rewarding to see these young adults successfully transition from foster care to independence," said Hunter L. Johnson, LINC's president and CEO.
Like many adaptive reuse project across the country, this renovation includes a variety of green design features that up the building's efficiency and long-term sustainability. For example, the appliances are all Energy Star certified, there's a high efficiency HVAC system that services the building, and each apartment is fitted out with dual-flush toilets. Solar panels and fuel cell technology were also incorporated to help reduce utility costs. Although it's still going through the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED process, The Palace is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification.
David Garber is the blog editor at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
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