Thursday, February 05, 2009

Mariners Medical Arts, Neutra, and Orange

It appears that the Richard Neutra's outstanding Mariners Medical Arts complex (1963) is now officially saved! Kudos to owners John Bral and Westcliff Investors, to architect John Linnert, to the O.C. Chapter of AIA, to the City of Newport Beach, and to everyone else who spoke up for one of the great high water marks in Orange County's architectural history. Thanks also to Chattel Architecture for preparing an EIR that impressed even the Neutra family. Of course, I can't help but wonder how this scenario would have turned out had the real estate market still been healthy. (Note: I'm not sure of the source of the image above. It may be one of Julius Schulman's photos from when the complex was newly built.)
The 71-year-old fountain in the middle of Plaza Park in Orange is now repaired after a bunch of Chapman University students broke it. The University is doing the right thing by footing the repair bill.
The Victorian parsonage (1901) at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Orange is about to be moved for the third time. It will be moved to a lot on Cleveland St. at sunrise on Feb. 21, where it will again serve as a private residence.
Orange Public Library will receive a $5,000 grant to continue/expand its "Shades of Orange" barrio oral history and preservation program.

5 comments: said...

So, I was not sure from the Register Article... is the Mariners Medical Arts building going to continue to house medical offices? or will it find some new use?

I was thinking that it might make a neat place for a local arts or history museum.

Chris Jepsen said...

It's been a mix of offices for as long as I've known it. There have always been some medical offices, but magazines and other businesses have been centered out of there as well.

Viewliner Ltd. said...

I am glad to hear it is saved. My kids pediatrician was in this building.

Susan Kitchens said...

Good to know that the Neutra building is being preserved. For two reasons... I used to attend the same Toastmasters club as Dion Neutra (in Pasadena), and that building housed the office of my childhood eye doctor!

John said...

Mariners Medical Arts May be saved from the wrecking ball but as it is understood, the developer Westcliff Investors, LLC represented by John Bral is still adamant about developing the back parking area. Download this 2 page PDF showing what is being proposed.

This is not good for the existing Richard Neutra designed Mariners Medical Arts complex. If built this development will ruin the special characteristics and qualities that makes this structure so valuable.
It would be like diminishing a flower of its beauty by overshadowing it with an insensitive large block of concrete, killing it with its long and suffocating darkness.
It is hoped that the City of Newport Beach and its elected officials/political leaders will continue to see the value of Mariners Medical Arts and continue to champion for its preservation. Unfortunately and presently, it seems far from an ideal situation for such a culturally significant structure by one of the 20th century's prominent architect.

Please continue to voice your concerns and opinions in favor of preservation and sensitive development for Richard Neutra's Mariners Medical Arts.
For more information please do not hesitate to contact me.

John W Linnert AIA

It would seem to be an ideal situation for a museum entity e.g. the Orange County Museum of Art to purchase Mariners Medical Arts From Westcliff Investors, LLC ... continue to lease its offices, ultimately restore it and have it as one of their "live exhibits" with additional documentation at their museum. The museum would be the Steward and the public would benefit in many ways. If any one has connections to an entity such as OCMA (Orange County Museum of Art)[they seem to be a natural"fit"] express this idea to them and see where it may go.