Monday, June 13, 2011

Los Angeles' Richard J. Riordan Central Library

Los Angeles Central Library

Published by Longshaw Card Co.

Postcard Caption:
The splendid Los Angeles Library costing $2,300,000, with seventeen reading rooms, a music room, art room, and lecture hall gives specialized service to the appreciative public of Los Angeles.
Today, the Los Angeles Public Library boasts almost 100 branch locations, but the 1929 central library is the most well-known, and, according to Lonely Planet, is not only the most fascinating building in town but also the 43rd top attraction in the city (out of over 800). The building is, according to a Los Angeles Times story by Cecilia Rasmussen, "less California Spanish or Mission than a unique blend of styles--Spanish, Roman, Egyptian--that made it truly exceptional. The architect [Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue] died in 1924, two years before the library opened." Less than 20 years after the building was constructed, it was overcrowded, but the city was unable to find the finances to fund repairs or new construction until a large arson in April 1986, and a smaller fire later that year, destroyed around 400,000 books. While volunteers  worked to save the remaining books from fire damage, the public and city leaders worked to raise money for new construction which began in 1987 and lasted six years. 

Learn more about the library and its history here:

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