Los Angeles Central Library

Gibbs Smith

SKU: 4534

$45.00 USD

Declared one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, Los Angeles Central Library is a monument to fine architecture and artwork—and, of course, its renowned collection of the written word and its world-class special collections. Los Angeles Central Library and its history are as fascinating as any of the storied volumes found on its shelves. City leaders fought for decades to build a landmark structure and later battled to demolish it, yet generations of Angelenos have watched the building stand tall, survive fires, and endure into the twenty-first century, ready to face a high-tech society that thought it could live without books. Year after year Central Library proves its essential place in the heart of Los Angeles. And each year it becomes more important.

In Los Angeles Central Library: A History of Its Art and Architecture the Library’s beautiful building, paintings, murals, sculptures, decor, and storied tile work are captured by the lens of renowned Hollywood photographer and graphic designer Arnold Schwartzman. And its remarkable story of dramatic visuals and civic involvement is chronicled by architectural historian Stephen Gee. Gee tells the story of the creative minds that shaped the structure: architects Bertram Goodhue, Carleton M. Winslow, Hardy Holzman and Pfeiffer Assocates; sculptor Lee Lawrie; muralists Dean Cornwell and Albert Herter; painter Julian Garnsey, and philosopher, Hartley Burr Alexander, and many more. Schwartzman shows it all in page after page of dramatic color, all juxtaposed with historic images and blueprints, many never-before published.

Arnold Schwartzman, an Academy Award-winning documentary director and design director for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, is the author of several books, including DECO LAndmarks (2005) and Griffith Observatory, A Celebration of its Architectural Splendor (2015). Appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), he was also honored as Royal Designer (RDI) by Britain’s Royal Society of Arts. He lives in Los Angeles.

Stephen Gee is a writer and television producer based in Los Angeles. He is the author of Iconic Vision: John Parkinson, Architect of Los Angeles. Gee has worked on numerous award-winning television productions and has directed and produced live coverage of high-profile international news stories. He is Associate Director for two University of Southern California research centers. A graduate of London’s City University, he began his career as a newspaper reporter in Norfolk, England. He lives in Los Angeles.