The Building, the Port, and the Island

Michael Davis

Michael Davis’ addition to the monumental sculpture collection at CSULB, The Building, the Port, and the Island, was donated to the UAM by the Pacific Towers Associates of Long Beach in 1988 and installed with the participation of Davis in 1988−89. Through this work, Davis explores the changing complexion of Long Beach. Composed of three physically separate but conceptually unified components, The Building, The Port, and The Island reveals dramatically changing relationships as a viewer approaches the site from different vantage points, exemplifying the concept of a city in transition. The Building, a vertical bronze form with an overlapping plane of sheet and corrugated steel, is a narration of the construction techniques used in city buildings. The Port, formed by two Cor−ten plates, is inspired by both the massive ship prows at sea and the breakwater which surrounds the Long Beach Harbor. The Island, also built of Cor−ten steel is suggestive of the landforms emerging from the sea. Together these forms allude to the mystery of the port, the lure of the island, and their relationship to the city.

Michael Davis was born in Los Angeles in 1948 and, today, works from his studio in San Pedro, California. A 1971 graduate of California State University, Fullerton, Davis has been the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts individual artist fellowships (1980 and 1986), the Hand Hollow Fellowship (1984), and the American Institute of Architects Award for Public Art (1995), and has exhibited in museums and galleries internationally.



Type of Art

Year Completed

Council District

Partner Initiative




Commissioned By

Accession Number


The Building, the Port, and the Island



If the map screen shows as blank when using Street View, please use the arrows in the map screen to shift the view to an available area.

Address 1250 Bellflower Boulevard Long Beach, CA (get directions)

GPS Coordinates 33.776325, -118.112403

Location Name California State University, Long Beach

Location DescriptionLocated north of South Campus Road and west of Education 1 Building

Long Beach Transit Bus Routes

45, 46, 91, 92, 93, 94, 121, 171, 173, 175

DimensionsThe Building: 192 in. x 96 in. x 96 in. The Port: 80 in. x 422 in. x 198 in. The Island: 57 in. x 381 in. x 43 in.

Primary Materials

, ,

Additional Images

The ArtsLB Public Art Map is provided as a public resource. If you find any discrepancies, please contact