Venice Branch Library


Venice Branch Library

Venice Branch Library is a former branch library of the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) system. It is located in Venice — a residential, commercial, and recreational beachfront neighborhood of the City of Los Angeles. The branch library joined the LAPL system in 1926, when the neighborhood was integrated into the city. It was then located at 1110 Washington Blvd., near the Westminster School, the largest school in Venice. In 1930, the library moved to a newly constructed building at 610 California Avenue, which was designed by architect David. L. Witmer in Spanish Colonial Revival style. It has a "U" layout with a symmetrical street facade. A cement walkway leads to the front entry adorned with a pair of recessed oak double doors with diamond-shaped panes. On each side of the entry are three sets of metal-sash casement windows. The building is topped with a hip roof with exposed eaves and a case stone cornice. The building interior features an oak vestibule with Moorish motifs.


After the establishment of the branch in its own building, the circulation growth continued while population of Venice grew through the development of the aviation industry. In 1987, along with several other branch libraries in Los Angeles, the Venice Branch Library was placed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in a thematic group submission.


Eventually the library outgrew its facility and the building no longer met earthquake codes. It was decided to construct a new facility, the construction began on July 9, 1993, funded through a federal Housing and Community Development Block Grant. The new 10,500-sq.ft. building located at 501 S. Venice Boulevard — doubled the space of the previous structure and accommodated 40,000 books. In the meantime, the historic building at 610 California Avenue was seismically reinforced and has been used by The Vera Davis McClendon Center — a City of Los Angeles ran community center that houses multiple agencies who provide free or low cost services to the community.


Address: 610 California Ave, Venice, CA 90291


Website: http://www.lapl.org/branches/venice


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/venicelapl/


Status: Relocated to 501 S. Venice Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291. The original site is now used by The Vera Davis McClendon Center.


Additional Resources

Los Angeles Public Library. (1995, August 12). Grand opening celebration for the new Venice - Abbot Kinney Memorial Branch Library.

History of Venice and West Los Angeles branch libraries. March 17, 1949.

Maher, A. (1995, July 6). Technology : New high-tech Venice Library opens. Los Angeles Times.

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.

Venice Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, 1930. USC Digital Library. USC Libraries Special Collections.

Old Venice Branch, Los Angeles Public Library, [n.d.]. Exterior of the original Venice Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, located at 610 California Avenue. Security Pacific National Bank Collection.

Venice Branch Library, 19--. Photographer: Dick Whittington. Exterior view of the Venice Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, located at 610 California Avenue. The branch opened in 1930 and was replaced in 1995 by Venice - Abbot Kinney Memorial Branch Library at 501 South Venice Boulevard. Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.