City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 121922
Artwork and Firm Selected to Design the City of Long Beach COVID-19 Memorial
Joy Contreras
Community Relations Officer
Department of Public Works

Artist rendering of proposed COVID-19 Memorial, Twin Arches

Long Beach, CA – On Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, the Long Beach City Council, with a 6 to 0 vote, approved a contract with PAO Design to advance their submitted memorial concept design, “Twin Arches,” and conduct further technical studies for the development of Long Beach’s COVID-19 Memorial. The memorial will be built to honor the lives of those who were lost and those who remain forever impacted by the pandemic.

“I am honored to have concluded my final City Council meeting with the approval of this plan,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “The proposed artwork beautifully honors the members of our community lost to COVID-19 and the lives impacted by the pandemic.”

In late November 2022, the City released a Request For Qualifications (RFQ) soliciting qualified artists to submit their recommended artwork for the COVID-19 Memorial. The COVID-19 Memorial Advisory Committee, a committee comprised of arts professionals, representatives from community-based organizations, and local education and healthcare institutions, selected PAO Design, a Long Beach based design firm.

The selected design proposes the building of “Twin Arches,” to be integrated at either the Civic Center Plaza or Rainbow Harbor Lighthouse, to memorialize the lives lost, create an opportunity for interaction with the artwork itself and provide opportunity for social gathering and healing. PAO Design was the top ranked submission resulting from the RFQ and Call for Artists and will begin collaborating with City staff and the Advisory Committee to advance the design concept. City staff will present the refined concept design to the City Council and request to amend the contract to complete its detailed design, permitting, fabrication and installation.

“I look forward to collaborating with PAO Design and the Advisory Committee to build the memorial in our Civic Center hub,” said First District Councilwoman Mary Zendejas. “This COVID-19 Memorial will bring people together from all walks of life to remember our loved ones and to help us heal as a city from the tragic losses we experienced during the pandemic.”

The City Council approved a $20,000 one-year contract for PAO Design to finalize their design, permitting, technical feasibility and to develop comprehensive cost estimates. The project is supported by one-time funding in the amount of $650,000 from the General Fund and $200,000 in Measure A funds currently appropriated in the Capital Projects fund group in the Public Works Department. Staff will continue to work with the Committee to help guide the Memorial’s design and will continue to prioritize access and inclusion. 

Earlier this year, the City unveiled its COVID-19 Digital Memorial in remembrance of Long Beach residents who lost their lives due to complications of COVID-19. The digital memorial is available at