In October, an event called University by the Sea linked Cal State Long Beach with Downtown, using the Jurgins Tunnel as a theatre to showcase silent and local resident films. This particular feature of the event was enthusiastically received as requests for entrance to the film series and “passing periods” between films far surpassed the capacity of the tunnel and number of showings.
In an effort to fully preserve and utilize all that the tunnel has to offer, Councilmember Suja lowenthal is now requesting that City Manager Pat West take three actions:
1) perform a comprehensive study of potential adaptive reuses for the Jergins Pedestrian Subway Tunnel to help identify the best way of effectively preserving and utilizing this historic “landmark” for the benefit of residents and visitors to Long Beach.
2) pursue grant funding for study, planning, preservation and adaptive reuse activities associated with the Jergins Pedestrian Subway Tunnel.
3) return to the City Council within 60 days with an outline and approach for performing the study and pursuing grant funding.
In her memo to the City Council, Lownenthal writes:
Long Beach is home to numerous historic landmarks and artifacts tracing the history and providing a glimpse of shared past. In some cases, a tremendous job has been done to preserve and adapt history to the present. However, there are notable examples of failure to embrace and preserve the past, which serve as reminders that once something is gone it cannot be recovered. The Jergins Tunnel provides Long Beach with a tremendous opportunity to celebrate its past while identifying a beneficial function in its future.
The action will be on next week’s Council agenda.
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