A Brief Lincoln Heights Branch Library History

Branch PhotoLibrary service in the Lincoln Heights community began at the turn of the century. In 1900, a delivery station at Daly Street and Pasadena Avenue was established by the Los Angeles Public Library, following a successful petition by residents who wanted a facility. The small book station was so successful that three years later another branch was opened at 2609 East Main Street. As library use continued to grow, the two facilities merged and combined with another smaller branch to become the North East Branch Library.

The Carnegie Building

In 1916, a new Italian renaissance style building was built at the corner of Workman Street and Avenue 26 for the North East Branch Library. The was one of the Carneige Libraries, developed with funds provided by the philanthropic East Coast millionaire. Modeled after the Villa Papa Guilia in Rome, the distinctive structure featured an expansive main floor and a basement auditorium. The building was later designated a Los Angeles City Historic Cultural Monument and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The library quickly became integral to the life of the community. By November 1919, the surrounding district had assumed the name of Lincoln Heights, and the library therefore becamthe “Lincoln Heights Branch.” In 1975, a community vote renamed the facility “Biblioteca del Pueblo de Lincoln Heights.”In February 1990, the building was closed in compliance with the Los Angeles City Building and Safety Commission's earthquake hazard reduction order. One month later the building reopened in temporary quarters at 2217 North Broadway.

Photographs from the Los Angeles Public Library Security Pacific National Bank Historic Photograph Collection.