Library service began in the Mar Vista community in March 1927 when the area was annexed to the City of Los Angeles and the city took over the county-operated branch at 12117 Venice Blvd. In 1950, the Centinela and Mar Vista libraries combined into one and moved to rented space at 12310 Venice Blvd.
A 1957 citywide library bond funded the construction of a new 5,450-square-foot Mar Vista Branch Library at 12006 Venice Blvd. The new facility opened in March 1962. The Mar Vista community quickly outgrew the small library. Funds from the 1998 library bond known as Proposition DD made possible the acquisition of a site adjacent to the library and construction of a new building with a parking lot was begun.
In March 2003 the new 12,500-square-foot library opened with more than double the space of the former library to accommodate more books, people and computers. The state-of-the-art facility features special reading and book areas for children, teens and adults plus a multipurpose meeting room. The library also offers 21st century technology with wi-fi, a printer and computers that link patrons to the Los Angeles Public Library’s website, catalog, a vast array of databases and the Internet.
Architects Mahmoud Gharachedaghi and Neil Hagigat of GA Design designed the building on a nautical theme in keeping with the name Mar Vista, view of the sea. Artist John O’Brien created the white aluminum wall reliefs in the main reading room and meeting room to resemble waves and the fluttering pages of a book.
Top two photographs from the Los Angeles Public Library Security Pacific National Bank Historic Photograph Collection.