The Back Story About How the LB Airport Preserved Historic Mosaics
When Long Beach hired a new Director of the Long Beach Airport, I met with him and shared what I had discovered and encouraged him to have the carpet removed to see if the mosaics could be recovered.Just this month the restoration project was completed and mosaics are available for viewing.
The mosaics cover the 4,300 square foot first floor of the airport when installed by Clements and her workers. A 1942 article in the California Arts and Architecture magazine describes how Clements focused upon the theme of communication: "A large map of the western hemisphere showing air routes occupies the central portion of the concourse floor. Large geometric areas of unbroken color form the main body of the floor, highlighted by design units evolved from the idea of communication -- ships, oil, aviation and the telephone.
If you look on the second floor, murals included sky and constellations of the northern hemisphere. A zodiac mosaic is outside the entrances of the restaurant. The colors in the murals were specifically designed to mute the strong light coming in from the windows in the dining room. The mosaic city seal at the main entrance and seagulls at the back were prominent. Carpeting covered the three mosaics on the first floor, depicting oil, shipping, and aviation.