A penthouse opens windows on the past

Times Staff Writer

This penthouse tops the eighth floor of the Kress Building Lofts, created through the conversion of the Samuel H. Kress dime store in downtown Long Beach.

The building was designed as a store, with offices, in 1923. In 1995, after sitting vacant for more than a dozen years, it was turned into 45 condos and two penthouses by a group of preservationists.

The Italian Renaissance detailing was also restored. Interiors were rebuilt to have open floor plans, high ceilings and exposed red-brick walls.

Attorney Dan Lowenthal and his wife, Suja, a member of the board of the Long Beach Unified School District, bought this penthouse soon after it was built. It is about 700 square feet larger than the other penthouse and has access, on its lower level, to a private elevator.

The penthouse is split-level, its lower level dating to the 1920s and its metal-and-glass, contemporary upper level built in 1995. Something old and something new appealed to the Lowenthals in their early married life, but now they plan to move into more of a family environment.

About this house: The penthouse has panoramic views of the city and the harbor. On the ground floor, there is parking and a small retail area.

The building is in a neighborhood of restaurants and newly built lofts, all part of the renewal of downtown Long Beach.

Asking price: $919,000

Size: There are two bedrooms and two bathrooms -- one with an 18-foot-high ceiling -- in 2,100 square feet. There is also a private, rooftop deck of 1,400 square feet.

Features: The penthouse has a spa and an indoor-outdoor fireplace. The kitchen is contemporary with stainless steel appliances.

Where: Long Beach

Listing agent: Scott Hamilton, Hamilton Realty Services, (949) 280-8236 or (562) 983-1305.

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