Richmond, Calif., employees recently moved back into their downtown offices following a seven-year project to revitalize Richmond’s Civic Center plaza. Many of the city’s administrative functions had been located off site following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which damaged the Civic Center buildings. By restoring the facilities, city officials hope to spark a renaissance in the city’s central business district.
The $100 million restoration — designed by Los Angeles-based Nadel Architects and led by Richmond Civic Center Partners, LLC, a joint venture partnership between Los Angeles-based Alliance Property Group and Mission Viejo, Calif.-based Wasatch Advantage Group, LLC — included seismic upgrades and measures to reduce energy and water use. The project also updated the City Council chambers and broadcast facilities for the city’s public television station. Richmond officials commissioned eight pieces of public art to complete the project, including etched elevator doors in City Hall, a mural by Daniel Galvez in the Auditorium’s Bermuda Room, and a sculpture for the plaza fountain by local artist Archie Held.
“With the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the buildings, we believe the Civic Center pays tribute to the city’s architectural heritage and reestablishes Richmond’s place as a city of the future,” says Steve Duran, director of Richmond’s Community & Economic Development Department.