Richard Henry Dana Branch Library


Richard Henry Dana Branch Library

The Richard Henry Dana Branch Library, later renamed to Cypress Park Branch, is a former branch library of the Los Angeles Public Library system. It is located in the Cypress Park neighborhood in Northeast Los Angeles, CA. The history of the branch dates back to 1912, when books were circulated through the local schools' deposit stations. The first library was established in October 1920, named the Dayton Avenue Branch. In mid 1920s, it was renamed after Richard Henry Dana Jr., American lawyer and politician from Massachusetts, a descendant of an eminent colonial family, who gained renown as the author of the American classic, the memoir Two Years Before the Mast. As the demand for books grew, the library moved to a new building at 3320 Pepper Avenue, opening its doors to the public on May 3, 1927.


The U.S. National Register of Historic Places thematic group submission describes the Richard Henry Dana Branch Library as a charming one-story New England Colonial Revival style building, designed by architect Harry S. Bent in an L-plan with a high-pitched gable roof. The building is decorated with a portico at the north end of the front elevation, featuring paired wooden panel doors with an arched canopy supported by paneled posts. Past the wooden paneled front doors is an entry vestibule with a black and white marble floor. At the north end of the building is a marble fireplace.


In 1987, along with several other branch libraries in Los Angeles, the Richard Henry Dana Branch was placed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in a thematic group submission. The need for expansion of library services was evident, and a new branch library was constructed in 2001 in Cypress Park. The new branch, with 35,000 books, several computer stations and a community meeting room, is three times larger than the schoolhouse-type library branch on Pepper Avenue that served Cypress Park since 1927. The historic branch has since remained closed and vacant.


Address: 3320 Pepper Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90065


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Richard-Henry-Dana-Branch/109575795727895


Status: Closed


Additional Resources

Citizens group formed to fight for library. Green Sheet, 1958.

Moving of Dana Library delayed. Transportation Union News, Jul. 26, 1941.

History of Richard Henry Dana - Cypress Park Branch Library (1912-1930).

History of Richard Henry Dana Branch (1912-1936).

History of the Richard Henry Dana Library (Oct. 1, 1929).

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.