The Library will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2024, in observance of Memorial Day.



1926 Mural
Central Docents, 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?

Central Docents, 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
Central Docents, 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? Unwilling to get into a debate about conspiracy theories or mind control, I always chose to deflect the question.

UN World Peace Bell
Central Docents, September 14, 2016

Most visitors to the Central Library’s Maguire Gardens see Jud Fine's “Spine” installation and the unique collection of fountains that grace the gardens, but not everyone notices tucked away in the westernmost corner, nearest Flower Street, a quiet token of the most ambitious possibility, the World Peace B

Detail of owl sculpture for the balconies of central library
Central Docents, August 16, 2016

The doors of wisdom are never shut.—Benjamin Franklin

The classic icon of wisdom, the owl, is found in several places around the original Bertram Goodhue Library building. These owls are not hidden, but they may not be obvious to the casual visitor.

Los Angeles Sunday Times article about the library
Central Docents, June 15, 2016

In July of 1926, Angelenos eagerly awaited the opening of the Los Angeles Central Library's new building, the first permanent home for the fifty-year-old library.

Aerial view of fire, April 29,1986
Central Docents, April 29, 2016

This year, 2016, marks the 30th anniversary of the most catastrophic fire of a library building in the U.S. It occurred at our Central Library.

Exterior view of the Flower street entrance of the library
Central Docents, April 22, 2016

If you've taken one of our free library tours, we've probably pointed out the quotation over the Flower Street entrance from Lucretius:

“Like runners they bear on the lamp of life."

Parapet Walkway below Pyramid of central library
Central Docents, February 08, 2016

Have you ever climbed the old marble staircase in our Central Library and, glancing up, spied a lit window cozily lined with books and plants?

part of Maguire Gardens’ SPINE sculptor
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.