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central library


Central Docents, January 04, 2016

The incised metal steps that lead from Flower Street to the Central Library are part of an “art plan integrated with an architectural plan” now known as “Spine,” and the highlight of The Maguire Gardens. It is “not an installation or a sole art project,” says primary artist, Jud Fine.

James Sherman, November 02, 2015

Stories matter. Everyone has a story in them and many have a novel just waiting to get out -- but how to start?  And once started, the difficulty of finding time or encouragement in this lonely process can be fatal to the creative urge.

Man in Robe
James Sherman, August 24, 2015

As award-winning author Marilynne Robinson noted in her New York Times Essay “The Book of Books: What Li

Central Docents, August 27, 2015

Our free, daily, art and architecture tour of L.A.'s Central Library almost always begin by taking a look at the exterior of the historic 1926 Goodhue Building.  Architect Bertram Goodhue and his colleague, Carlton Winslow, conceived the expansive Flower Street area as an outdoor reading roo

Central Docents, July 20, 2015

Our free, daily, art and architecture tour of L.A.'s central library begins in the 1926 Goodhue Building, famous for its sculpture, murals, painted ceilings, and wonderful architecture.  The building has another great feature, something which seems ordinary to modern eyes, but which wasn't o

Literate Fence
Central Docents, June 13, 2015

The elegant Literate Fence, on the Fifth Street side of the library, was designed by Washington state industrial metal artist, Ries Niemi (b.1955). The Deco design, completed in 1993, echoes the design of the original library building.

Julian Garnsey
Central Docents, May 02, 2015

Our free daily docent-led art and architecture tour of the Los Angeles Central Library always includes a stop in the International Languages Department, through which visitors can find the Library's original 1926 Children's Department, with its decorated ceiling and Ivanhoe-themed murals.

Central Library
Central Docents, March 05, 2015

As you learn on our daily docent led tours, The Richard J Riordan Central Library has almost 90 years of fascinating history.  But some of most intriguing chapters in the building’s story occurred before the library even opened its doors for the first time in 1926.

Library Entrance
Central Docents, February 04, 2015

Our free, docent-led Art and Architecture tours of the downtown LA Central Library begin and end in the Main Lobby.   But we are often asked:  where exactly is the library’s front door?  It’s a strange question for a landmark building.  Here's a bit of background on the m

Central Docents, November 04, 2014

The magnificent stairs at the Flower Street entrance of the Central Library have had several lives.   Originally designed by the library’s architect, Bertram Goodhue in 1926, they were plain steps between three pools of plants and cool water.