central library architecture


illustration of the teen'scape space in Central Library
Central Docents, November 12, 2015

When you take our free docent-led art and architecture tours of the Los Angeles Central Library, we always point out Teen’Scape, one of the nation’s first libraries within a library designed by and exclusively for teens.

View of Central Library and the Maguire Gardens
Central Docents, August 27, 2015

Our free art and architecture tours of L.A.'s Central Library begin by taking a look at the exterior of the historic 1926 Goodhue Building.

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 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 exterior
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 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:

Sculptures in front of the library
Central Docents, December 04, 2014

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.

front steps of the library with festive balloons
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.

The Seven Centers Ceiling in the Main Lobby
Central Docents, September 29, 2014

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.

Mural Image
Central Docents, August 25, 2014

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.