Walk up to the front of 835 Locust Ave.
, and its easy to imagine the building in its heyday in the mid-1920s, when it was a Masonic Temple that housed multiple ballrooms, secret passageways and a dramatic theater stage. Step inside the front door, however, and in addition to a carefully preserved entryway with original light fixtures, tiling and an historically accurate color palate, theres a divergent community of loft-loving denizens. The buzz words around here are adaptive reuse, a term that represents a truce of sorts between developers and history buffs. Instead of being pitted against each other in a no-one-wins battle, both sides have found success by finding common ground, and relenting just a bit to the other sides concerns, said John Thomas, president of Long Beach Heritage
. In the case of the Masonic Temple
, it meant that developers maintained the façade and other unique and historically significant elements of the building, such as its interior brick walls and entryway. In return, historians lent their restoration services and support -- no small thing in a city such as Long Beach, where the Heritage group and similar bodies have their share of clout. Here's a photo gallery look at the inside of a handful of the Masonic Temple lofts -- and the residents' take on "adaptive reuse." What's immediately apparently is how their décors differ wildly -- but are united by a desire to take advantage of every square foot of space, every raw surface and every soaring ceiling.