Los Angeles Central Library

Los Angeles Central Library

A History of Its Art and Architecture

photographed by Arnold Schwartzman
written by Stephen Gee
foreword by John F. Szabo

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 Associates; sculptor Lee Lawrie; muralists Dean Cornwell and Albert Herter; painter Julian Garnsey, 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.

  • 240 pages
  • full color throughout
  • 100+ images
  • 9w"x9h"
    • hardcover: ISBN 978-1-62640-036-8; $45.00
    • softcover: ISBN 978-1-62640-037-5; $30.00