Jefferson Branch Library

Jefferson Branch Library

The Jefferson Branch Library is a branch library of the Los Angeles Public Library system. It is located in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA. Its history dates back to 1912, when the library began operating as a station in a drug store at 2100 W. Jefferson Street. As a result of a petition from the community to the Library Board for more permanent library services, a sub-branch was opened in November 1915, in a rented store in a new building at 2065 W. Jefferson Street.

As the local demand continued to grow, in 1922 the Library Board secured a lot at 2211 West Jefferson Blvd, one block west of the rented store location. On that lot, the new building designed by architect C.E. Noerenberg was built and presented to the community, in November 1923. The Jefferson Branch Library is a one-story building designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. It has an L-plan, plastered walls and a gable tile roof. Set back from the street it appears almost to look like a residence. The interior appears to have been remodeled with the addition of a drop ceiling and a tile fireplace.

After five years in the new building, the book stock had increased by almost 150%, exceeding the planned book capacity. Jefferson Branch Library became one of the ten busiest libraries in the City. As the community demographics continued to change, the library expanded its holdings serving the residents with a variety of materials, including foreign language books and recordings. In 1983, the library sustained damage caused by an arson fire and was temporarily closed for repairs and renovation. It reopened in 1985 bearing the name of Los Angeles Public Library Jefferson Branch - Vassie D. Wright Memorial, renamed in honor of Black History Month by the Board of Library Commissioners.

In 1987, along with several other branch libraries in Los Angeles, the Jefferson Branch Library was placed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in a thematic group submission.

Address: 2211 W. Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018



Branch History: Highlights of the Jefferson Branch Library History 1912-1985

Status: Active

Additional Resources

Jefferson Branch Library History. (1912-1936).

Newspaper article. (1985, February 28). Library named for Vassie D. Wright.

Los Angeles Public Library. Celebrating a refurbished and improved library, Dedication Ceremonies, Thursday, June 6, 1985.

McGrew, P., & Julian, R. (1994). Landmarks of Los Angeles. New York, NY: H.N. Abrams.

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.