Felipe de Neve Branch Library
The Felipe de Neve Branch Library is located in Lafayette Park in the Westlake district of Los Angeles, CA. It was designed by architect Austin Whittlesey in a blend of Renaissance and Mediterranean Revival style. A one-story brick building with a red tile roof, it is elaborately decorated with symmetrically arranged groupings of windows and black and white tile decorations in the shape of diamonds and crosses. The entry has wooden double doors with diamond-shaped glass insets. The seal of the city constructed of mosaic tile is located above the doors. The rear of the building overlooking Lafayette Park has five arched windows with tile diamonds and crosses. Steeped gardens lead down to the park. The inside of the library features a high wooden ceiling of cross beams. There is a brick fireplace with two wrought-iron brackets on each side of the west wall. The amount of the construction contract was $29,655.00. The library was named in honor of city founder Felipe de Neve and opened on the 148th anniversary of the city's founding, in 1929.
Due to its dense central Los Angeles location, Felipe de Neve has remained one of the city’s busiest library branches. During the first year, a total circulation of 118,235 books was recorded, and the branch held 31st place in the branches annual record. In 1987, along with several other branch libraries in Los Angeles, the Felipe de Neve Branch Library building was placed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in a thematic group submission. It was designated a Historic-Cultural Monument (No.452) by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission in 1989. The historic building of the Felipe de Neve Branch Library was closed in 1990 in compliance with the earthquake safety codes; the branch moved to a temporary location while the building awaited a long-delayed retrofit. After completion of the restoration project in 1998, the library was reopened to general public.
Address: 2820 W. 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90057
Branch History: http://dbase1.lapl.org/webpics/calindex/documents/11/521257.pdf
Becker, M. (1996, May 29). Restoration, seismic retrofitting begin at landmark library. Los Angeles Times.
City of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning (2007, September 7). Historic-Cultural Monuments (HCM) Listing: City Declared Monuments.
Figenshow, S., Morris McNeill, Inc., & Los Angeles (Calif.). (1990). Historic cultural monuments: A review of historical monuments to identify potential cultural facilities. Los Angeles, CA.: City of Los Angeles, Cultural Affairs Dept.
Froines, J.E. (2012, December). Society's child: the gardens of the Felipe de Neve Branch Library. A Thesis presented to the faculty of the USC School of Architecture, University of Southern California.
Los Angeles Times. (1929, September 1). Library to be dedicated: Ceremonies at branch in Lafayette Park will take place on Felipe de Neve Day.
McGrew, P., & Julian, R. (1994). Landmarks of Los Angeles. New York, NY: H.N. Abrams.
Pinkelman, J., Freedman, S. (n.d.). Felipe de Neve Branch Library, Public Works Improvement Program: Hollow Wall Diptych.
Program for dedication of Felipe de Neve Library in Lafayette Park, Wednesday, Sept. 4th, 1929. Newspaper article.(1929, August 28).
Soter, B. D., Muench, J., & Library Foundation of Los Angeles. (1993). The light of learning: An illustrated history of the Los Angeles Public Library. Los Angeles, CA: Library Foundation of Los Angeles.
Why Our New Branch Library is Called Felipe de Neve Branch. Newspaper article. (1929, July 24).