Central Library, Goodhue Building

  • Caption
    North side of library, facing Fifth Street
    8/19/2004 (creation)
Related people
Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue (was created by)
Lee Oskar Lawrie (was created by)
1926 (creation)
North and Central America->United States->California (CA)->Los Angeles (county)->Los Angeles
The complex (i.e., the original 1926 Goodhue building and the 1993 Bradley wing) was subsequently renamed in 2001 as the Richard Riordan Central Library. The central tower is topped with a tiled mosaic pyramid with suns on the sides with a hand holding a torch representing the "Light of Learning" at the apex. The building design motifs were inspired by pre-Columbian, ancient European, Persian and Egyptian themes. It has sculptural elements by the American architectural sculptor Lee Lawrie, similar to the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln, Nebraska, also designed by Goodhue. The sculptural programs are integrated into (rather than applied onto) the surface, massing, spatial grammar and social function of the building. Both Lawrie and Goodhue moved through Modern Gothic to Beaux-Arts Classicism into Moderne or Art Deco in their careers. This late building (Goodhue died in 1924) exemplifies the transition from the predominating Beaux-Arts style to the modern construction prototypes and decorative influences of Art Deco. The building is a designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Twentieth century (LCSH)
Art Deco (AAT)
Beaux-Arts (AAT)