Hospital color scheme approved

The Laguna Beach Design Review Board unanimously approved a new color — white — for the front portion of Mission Hospital Laguna Beach at a Dec. 10 meeting. The board had rejected a proposal for a brighter white at its meeting of Nov. 19 and asked hospital officials to return with a “toned down” version, which they did.

Markie Cowley, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the hospital, said hospital officials want the facility to be a bright white color to indicate a new owner is on board, and to foster a feeling of excellence in care.

“There is a correlation between the perception of quality of care and color,” Cowley told the board Nov. 19.

Neighbors, however, wanted the hospital to be less intrusive and to blend in with its surroundings.


“The hospital is a huge monolith,” said neighbor Larry Gibney at the Dec. 10 hearing. “The neighborhood is looking to keep the hospital in earth tone colors, not a great white whale.”

Cowley said that Mission Hospital is trying to recruit new doctors and that the facility looks “old and decrepit” in its current color scheme.

She also said that one building on the complex is bright white and hospital officials want all the buildings to be the same color.

After some discussion, the board rejected Mission’s proposal to paint the structure “day lily” white, but approved “birch white” with accents of a color called “driftwood.”


“Hospitals historically are painted white,” said board member Leslie Lebon. “We can’t have it blend into the hillside and disappear.”

The color scheme for the rear of the facility was approved by the board Nov. 19.

In other hospital news, a new, 55-foot long sign was approved for the front of the building. The sign will be “halo lit,” according to hospital officials.

The sign will allow the hospital to be seen from Coast Highway.