Burnham-Ward Properties Completes Restoration of Historic Mariners Medical Arts Building in Newport Beach

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Mariners Medical Arts Building in Newport Beach / Image courtesy of ©Benny Chan/fotoworks

Newport Beach-based Burnham-Ward Properties has completed their year-long effort to restore and rehabilitate the historic Mariners Medical Arts building located on Westcliff Drive in Newport Beach.

Mariners Medical Arts was originally designed by master architect Richard Neutra in 1963. Burnham-Ward Properties acquired the property in 2021 to ensure the responsible stewardship of the iconic asset, that is a focal point of Newport Beach.

Spearheading the multimillion-dollar project was Steve Thorp, Partner of Burnham-Ward Properties.

“We are extremely proud of the completed restoration as the property is significant not only to the city of Newport Beach, but also the national architectural community,” Thorp said. “Our amazing team paid incredibly close attention to every detail to ensure we stayed true to the original design intent, and to honor the building’s importance as one of California’s architecture gems.”

Mariners Medical Arts embodies a mid-century modern design that integrates dynamic interior and exterior architectural features that seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor spaces. Burnham-Ward Properties’ team relied on historic photographs and preserved construction drawings to restore many of the original architectural elements, including three water features within the core of the property that were wrongly removed by prior ownership in the 1970s.

The American Institute of Architects’ Orange County Chapter’s Executive Director, Jeffrey Gill, FAIA, recently hosted a tour of the property.

“As architects, we care deeply about the preservation of architectural history. We are thrilled that this building has survived and found the right stewards to bring Neutra’s original design back to life,” Gill said.

Mariners Medical Arts Building in Newport Beach / Image courtesy of ©Benny Chan/fotoworks

Shubin Donaldson Principal Architect, Sieglinde Pukke, led the team in the restoration. “Having admired Mariners Medical Arts for decades, it has been an honor for me to be part of the team trusted to restore the building as originally designed by Neutra,” Pukke said. “Working collaboratively with Chattel, Inc, a Historic Preservation Consultant, while utilizing original building drawings and many historic photographs, allowed the team to rehabilitate much of the structure with its original details and features.”

The project also includes numerous environmental improvements and other modernizations including ADA accessibility, an updated landscape palette consisting of drought-tolerant plant and tree species, LED lighting and much more.

Dr. Frank Curry has operated his dental practice in the building for 54 years and has seen the property through many changes and landlords.

“My initial exposure to this iconic building was in 1959. I was just completing active duty in the U.S. Navy as a general dentist and was to begin my private practice in Newport Beach,” Curry said. “Burnham-Ward purchased this building with a passion to restore its original glory, and despite being challenged by unexpected obstacles, they have truly accomplished this goal. I am fortunate and proud to continue my general practice in this extraordinary building.”

The architect, Richard Neutra, has long been recognized as one of the preeminent modern American architects of the 20th century. Neutra received worldwide acclaim as early as 1932 when his work was included in the International Style exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

About Burnham-Ward Properties LLC: Burnham-Ward Properties LLC has developed and acquired millions of square feet of commercial properties including retail, professional office, medical and industrial assets throughout the United States.

Helmed by industry veterans Scott Burnham, Bryon Ward and Steve Thorp, BWP has created some of Southern California’s most distinctive and unique commercial projects.

BWP approaches each project with an emphasis on thoughtfully curating projects with an artful on unique details. It is the partners’ belief that through property the company can provide the backdrop for people to interact, work, and experience a better life through “community.”

BWP believes their projects positively influence lives while doing so in an environmentally conscious and constructive manner. The result is a creative asset base that provides long-term value creation for all of BWP’s portfolio.

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