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.
Our free 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.
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.
Our free, docent-led Art and Architecture tours of the downtown 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 many entrances:
If you’ve ever taken a tour of the Central Library, you’ve probably heard mention of Hartley Burr Alexander, the man who worked with architect Bertram Goodhue on the theme and symbolism of the historic 1926 building.
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.
When you meet your docent in the main lobby of the Central Library, the first art piece you'll see is the vibrant mural overhead that spans the vaulted ceiling. Our daily, free, hour-long art and architecture tour starts right there.
One of the most breathtaking stops on our daily Docent-led Art and Architecture Tours is the majestic Grand Rotunda, encircled by the pastel-toned murals by Dean Cornwell. Eighty years after their unveiling, the 12 panels of scenes from California history still feel modern.