As I had met a friend for lunch and was downtown anyway, I decided to trot on over to the Richard Riordan Central Library to see the Union Station exhibit (see One good kipper and a visit to the Central Library – Part One).
After the exhibit I wandered around the library taking a few random snapshots. As any photographer knows, for taking interior shots you really need a tripod, or at least a steady hand, neither of which I had brought with me. I just left the camera in Program mode and let it do its thing with available light, no flash.
The original 1926 building was designed by Bertram Goodhue with an eclectic array of influences including Egyptian, Mediterranean, Spanish, Islamic, Byzantine and probably a few others.
The Central Library was renamed for former mayor Richard Riordan in 2001. It is the third largest library in the US in terms of books and periodicals.
Above is the ceiling of the main rotunda adorned with amazing mosaic-like decorations and murals depicting the history of California.
Click a photo below for more images of the rotunda:
When at the library you have to look up, down and sideways or you might miss something wonderful.
The new wing, including the massive eight-story atrium, was completed in 1993 and named in honor of former mayor Tom Bradley.
In 1986 two arson fires came close to destroying the library. Although the arsons were a terrible crime, in the end the fires provided the reason to renovate, improve and add on to the existing building.
Click on a photo below for slideshow of more images of the atrium:
Beautifully decorated ceiling in children’s library. More images below of children’s area:
The painted ceiling at the main entrance will really keep you awake while you stand in line to check your books in or out!
This is the original torch that stood atop the pyramid roof of the original building. This is now kept inside the library in order to preserve it while a replica has replaced it on the exterior.
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