Grisafe Architecture Completes Impressive Remodel of Historic Long Beach Home

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Grisafe Architecture, an architecture firm headquartered in Long Beach, California, announced recently the completion of a remodel of an historic residence in Long Beach. The large, two-story home was originally designed by noted architect Kirtland Cutter in 1933, toward the end of his storied career.

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Our architecture firm has developed a great working relationship with the historic planners in the City of Long Beach and are able to get feedback early in the design process, allowing us to keep historic projects moving forward.

Grisafe Architecture, an architecture firm headquartered in Long Beach, California, announced recently the completion of a remodel of an historic residence in Long Beach. The large, two-story home was originally designed by noted architect Kirtland Cutter in 1933, toward the end of his storied career. The Long Beach residence is on the list of Historic Landmarks in the City of Long Beach. It is known as the “Henry Clock House” on the Historic Landmark registry, named after Henry Clock, a prominent lawyer and a leader in the City of Long Beach in the early-to-mid-twentieth century. The home was built in the Monterey Revival style (sometimes called “Spanish Eclectic”), which is an adaptation of the Spanish Revival style, with elements of the Colonial Revival style mixed in. It sits in the Los Cerritos neighborhood of Long Beach, surrounded by other beautiful custom homes.

Grisafe Architecture was tasked with restoring the house to its historic style, especially in areas that had been remodeled by previous homeowners and contained design details that weren’t consistent with the time period in which the house was built. In addition, the Long Beach architecture firm’s design provided the homeowners with additional areas for entertaining and added elements that would allow them to age in place.

The existing master bathroom, as well as the kitchen, were the main areas of the home that Grisafe Architecture focused on with their design. The master bathroom received an entirely new layout, and the lighting was improved by the addition of a skylight and new sources of artificial lighting. A 36” pocket door was added to the entrance, as well as a wheelchair accessible shower. The shower walls were also reinforced to support the addition of handrails when needed. A glass block window was replaced with a custom-built, all-wood window that is true to the era of the home. Original elements, such as the medicine cabinet, were preserved and reused.

In the kitchen, the layout was reconfigured to give the homeowners additional pantry storage. A large kitchen island was divided into two smaller islands, allowing for a path of travel through the middle of the room. The rounded ceiling transition between the kitchen and the family room was replaced by a more period-appropriate straight transition. Just off of the kitchen, is a new custom bar that features wood veneer with a beautiful starburst pattern.

Due to the historic nature of the home, the architectural plans had to be approved by a designated historic team within the City of Long Beach’s Planning Department, in addition to getting all the standard approvals that a typical home remodel in Long Beach needs. Mark Grisasfe, Owner and Lead Architect at Grisafe Architecture, had this to say about working on historic homes in Long Beach, “The City of Long Beach is very interested and invested in maintaining homes in historic areas and designated historic homes, as is our firm. There is a lot of flexibility with regard to interior changes, but any changes to the exterior must be cleared through the Historic Planning team before it can be reviewed by the other departments at the City. Fortunately, our architecture firm has developed a great working relationship with the historic planners in the City of Long Beach and are able to get feedback early on in the design process. This allows us to keep projects like this one moving forward.”

Grisafe continued, “With this project, we really focused on achieving a balance between giving the homeowners the historic elements that make a home like this truly special, and the functionality that would improve their everyday living and their ability to entertain guests. We believe we were able to capture that balance with our design.”

Grisafe Architecture worked closely with Corona Del Mar Interior Designer Aubrey Smiga of Domus Ex Arte, as well as the project’s general contractor, to bring the project to completion. The end result of this project is a home that has been restored to its historic style using design elements that are consistent with the time period in which it was built. The remodeled home also provides the homeowners with improved usability for contemporary living.

About Grisafe Architecture

Grisafe Architecture is a full-service commercial and residential architecture firm based in Long Beach, California, offering commercial building planning and tenant improvements, new home design and custom remodels, landscape design, and interior design. With every project, they strive to exceed their clients’ design needs and help protect the finished projects from known risks and costly challenges. Learn more about Grisafe Architecture and see examples of their work at their website: https://grisafearchitecture.com/

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Matthew Smith
Grisafe Architecture, Inc.
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