Los Angeles Central Library Building and Grounds
Backstory and Context
The original Los Angeles Central Library was designed by architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, taking influence from ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean Revival styles. Elements of these styles include a tiled pyramid, sphinxes, snakes, and mosaics. Some elements have been sculpted by American architectural sculptor Lee Lawrie.
From 1988 to 1993, the Central Library was extensively renovated and expanded in a Modern/Beaux Arts style, including an enormous, eight-story atrium wing dedicated to former mayor Tom Bradley. Now, the library occupies an area of 538,000 square feet and has nearly 89 miles of shelves and seating for over 1,400 people.
Today, the Central Library is one of the most well-known public library buildings in the United States and the staff have been honored with the National Medal for Museum and Library Service - the highest honor that can be given to a public library. Librarian John F. Szabo and community member Sergio Sanchez accepted the award on behalf of the library from First Lady Michelle Obama during a White House Ceremony on May 20, 2015.
Los Angeles Central Library. LA Conservancy. Accessed July 09, 2017. https://www.laconservancy.org/locations/los-angeles-central-library.