Oceanside Civic Center

The First Stop on a California Road Trip to the Public Architecture of Charles Moore

IMG_20170312_120842Charles Moore’s 1990 Civic Center is a delightful discovery in sleepy Oceanside California. Located at the center of town, Moore’s Irving Gill-inspired buildings surround a great plaza and fountain.

The fountain’s shapes echo the playful forms seen in the Moore’s famous Piazza d’Italia in New Orleans.

IMG_20170312_120310An Irving Gill-inspired arcade and tower face the fountain and mark the entrance to the Library from the Plaza.

The Library and Community Rooms open to small courtyard.

IMG_20170312_120216From the plaza and fountain colorful tiles, like a stream or river, guide you towards the arched gateway at City Hall.


Under the City Hall arch is yet another fountain, a delightful explosion of Post Modern colors and forms with grand staircases leading to City offices.

IMG_20170312_122432Alas, the great fountain in the center of the Plaza has been fenced off and is inaccessible – dramatically undermining Charles Moore’s architectural and urban concept.

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2 responses to “Oceanside Civic Center

    • Very good to hear, Kirt. I believe I had seen an article a year or so ago suggesting it was being removed, which I obviously think is a good move and positive gesture.

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