Central Docents, Central Library | Los Angeles Public Library
Print this page

Central Docents, Central Library



Tom Bradley on an escalator at the opening of the Red Line subway downtown, 1-30-93.

Los Angeles’s First (and Only) Black Mayor Broke Racial Barriers

September 06, 2018

“Never give up. Keep your thoughts and your mind always on the goal.” —Tom Bradley

 The Cheltenham Alphabet Spout, designed by Jud Fine, which graces LUCID, the middle of three ponds in Spine.

Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue Part III: Cheltenham Comes to Central Library

February 17, 2018

After nearly a century, the Los Angeles Central Library still reflects architect Bertram G. Goodhue's vision that buildings should be “literate,” using symbolic expressions to make them distinctive and eternal.

 Photo of Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue

Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue Part II: Designing Cheltenham, a century-old type font

January 19, 2018

During the late 1800s and early 1900s there was a bookmaking revival in the greater Boston/New York area, and Bertram Goodhue was thoroughly involved, influential, and supportive.

Richard J. Riordan Central Library

Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue Part I: Artist in Many Mediums

December 09, 2017

Architect Bertram G. Goodhue (1869-1924) was a gifted and multi-faceted artist. He began drawing as a young child, first with pen and pencil and later with watercolors.

Central Library Atrium. Detail of the chevron design motif at the base of a column.

Norman Pfeiffer: Highlights of the Tom Bradley Wing

May 05, 2017

For 50 years, nationally recognized architect Norman Pfeiffer has applied creativity, innovation, and technical proficiency to an impressive portfolio of outstanding renovations and additions to library and arts buildings throughout the country.

Illuminations, a series of lanterns by Ann Preston in the Bradley Wing. Photo courtesy of Karina Buck

Ann Preston's Lamps Illuminate the Bradley Wing

March 15, 2017

A highlight of our docent tours is Ann Preston's Illuminations, a series of lanterns that descend the southern escalator landings of the Tom Bradley Wing.

Tower Reconstruction, 1991.

What Are “Air Rights” and Why Are They Important to Central?

February 10, 2017

The shortest answer to the question of importance is that without the funds which the city received for the sale of the air rights above the Central Library site, we might not have the Goodhue Building today.  Instead of being renovated, it easily might have been demolished.

1926 Mural

Original Children's Room Holds Art and ... Secrets!

December 14, 2016

I love taking tours through the old children’s room in the Central Library because it’s the only place in the building where one can stand close enough to the ceiling to see how artist Julian Garnsey’s painting skill created the illusion of wooden beams. The secret behind the illusion?


Are There Hidden Masonic Symbols on the Los Angeles Central Library? Part 2

November 15, 2016

In Part 1 of our post we looked at sculpture on the library’s exterior as it reflects an overall theme, The Light of Learning.

Flower Street facade of Los Angeles Central Library

Are There Hidden Masonic Symbols on the Los Angeles Central Library?

October 21, 2016

Since I began leading docent tours eight years ago at the Los Angeles Central Library, some tour goers ask—is hidden Masonic symbolism contained in the art that decorates the library?