Huntington Beach Public Library on Triangle Park
Main Street Library, circa 1951. Source: City of Huntington Beach archives.
The large window for the reading room of the Main Street Branch Library. Source: M. Urashima, April 2014.
The handcrafted grandfather clock donated in 1914 by the senior class of Huntington Beach High School. Source: M. Urashima, April 2014.
The reading room of the Main Street Branch Library. Source: M. Urashima, April 2014.
Backstory and Context
The park land was temporarily used for tents to house the constant flow of new residents upon the discovery of oil in 1920. A 1921 city report notes a lease contract was signed with R.E. Wright who constructed small beaverboard houses on the park land. Wright rented the temporary shacks in what was called Bungalet Court for $30 to $35 a month. The area became known as 'Cardboard Alley'.
Triangle Park became part of a larger civic center complex in 1922, including a city hall, Memorial Hall, and the Horseshoe Club in 1931. In February 1925, the Township's board of trustees discussed "with considerable interest" a suggestion to use the land for a recreation park, suggesting tennis, croquet, and handball courts as being "a very desirable form of amusement." By the late 1920s, the community added a lighted baseball diamond, grandstand, and the horseshoe grounds.
During World War II, the American Red Cross set up headquarters in the Horseshoe Club building, providing first aid and rolling bandages for the war effort. The U.S. Army used the clubhouse at nearby Lake Park, as well as the Huntington Beach pier for submarine watch during this time.
Construction began on the 9,034-square-foot Main Street Branch Library in 1949. It was designed in what was known as the International Style, more recently called Mid Century Modern. The library opened in 1951 and the town's 1914 Carnegie Library at 8th and Walnut streets was closed and demolished.
The Main Street Branch Library held a collection of between 40,000 to 50,000 books and served as the main public library for the community from 1951 up until 1975. A handcrafted grandfather clock in the library's main room was donated by the senior class of Huntington Beach High School in 1914.
The Main Street Branch Library remains an active branch library for Huntington Beach, with large reading room, a computer room, children's book section and children's story times.
Urashima, Mary Adams. Saving history: The Main Street Branch Library on Triangle Park in Historic Huntington Beach. Historic Huntington Beach. December 19, 2012. Accessed March 20, 2018. http://historichuntingtonbeach.blogspot.com/2012/12/saving-history-main-street-library-and.html.
Urashima, Mary Adams. It's historic! Main Street Library and Triangle Park listed on National Register. Historic Huntington Beach. April 30, 2013. Accessed March 20, 2018. http://historichuntingtonbeach.blogspot.com/2013/04/its-historic-main-street-library-and.html.
Huntington Beach Public Library on Triangle Park. National Park Service National Register of Historic Places Program. . Accessed March 20, 2018. https://www.nps.gov/nr/feature/places/13000157.htm. Reference Number 13000157. Areas of Significance COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT, ARCHITECTURE
Shadia, Mona. "Triangle Park en route to becoming official." Los Angeles Times(Los Angeles)March 30, 2011. . http://www.latimes.com/tn-hbi-0331-triangle-20110324-story.html
Fletcher, Jamie. "Triangle Park library gets historical salute." Orange County Register(Santa Ana)November 25, 2013. . https://www.ocregister.com/2013/11/25/triangle-park-library-gets-historical-salute/
Historic Context and Survey Report. City of Huntington Beach, California. . Accessed March 20, 2018. https://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/files/users/planning/Historic_Context_and_Survey_Report_Final_Draf.... Galvin Preservation Associates, Inc.