Queen Mary at Cusp of Its “Second Golden Era” as Plan for Interior Renovations Unveiled

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Queen Mary Honorary Commodore of 35 years Everett Hoard, Second District Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and Urban Commons Principals Taylor Woods and Howard Wu. Above photo by Asia Morris. Renderings courtesy of Urban Commons. 

The Los Angeles-based real estate and investment firm Urban Commons unveiled its plans for The Queen Mary’s interior renovations this afternoon with a press event aboard the historic vessel. The interior plans precede the large-scale development aimed at bringing to life the 65 total acres surrounding the ship with retail, restaurants, bars and entertainment.

Urban Commons assumed the 66-year master lease of the ship, including the 45 acres of soon-to-be-developed land adjacent and 20 acres of surrounding waterfront, in April of 2016.


Last year, Mayor Robert Garcia said a new lease presents an opportunity to focus on the future, after praising the former lease holder for their improvement efforts. Now, with Urban Commons’ $15 million private investment to renovate The Queen Mary’s interior, Long Beach can hopefully gain a glance of what such an investment will bring forth.

According to the firm, this is the largest investment toward the Queen Mary since it opened.

“We all know that The Queen Mary is the Long Beach icon,” said Garcia. “Everyone knows about The Queen Mary. Everyone knows it’s part of our history. It’s really a proud moment of us to know that this ship and the land around the ship are going to so dramatically change and adapt in the years ahead.”

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The Churchill Suite. 

Urban Commons has been working closely with Gensler, a global design firm, to realize the vision of restoring The Queen Mary to her glory days, toward becoming what Garcia describes as the ship’s “second Golden Era.”

The renovation plan spans the entire ship, from guestrooms to public spaces and restaurants, and pays special attention to what any modern traveler would expect from a quality hotel stay. Taylor Woods, principal of Urban Commons, says that vision includes better showers and bathroom fixtures, better mattresses, carpeting and window treatments. 

New social hubs at each end of the ship, technological advancements and transforming existing on-board spaces into “hip, trendy venues” geared toward the millennial seek to draw more people to the ship, as well. 

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The Cognac Lounge. 

“What we want to do is blend the beauty of the art deco design and the original architecture and design elements with what a modern traveler would hope and expect when they travel and stay in a hotel,” Woods told the Long Beach Post.

Renovations in each of the 346 original First-Class Staterooms and nine suites will be all-encompassing, according to the release, with new furniture, carpet and lighting. During the press event, Woods said the team is collaborating with Brintons, a British manufacturer of carpets and also the designer of some of the original carpet on board the great ship, to recreate those patterns.

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The Deluxe State Room. 

“Our goal is to channel a new aura of regal elegance while maintaining the ship’s cherished historic elements,” stated Woods. “Through this process we plan to work closely with the ship’s historical advisor to ensure we meet certain historical requirements.” 

The renovations are expected to begin this fall with a completion date projected for late 2017, while the Queen Mary will remain open to guests during the process.

For more information about Urban Commons, visit the website here

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.