Wilmington Branch Library

Wilmington Irving Branch Library

The Wilmington Branch Library is a branch in the Los Angeles Public Library system, located in the Wilmington section of Los Angeles, CA. The original branch was designed and built in 1927 by architects McAllister, W.E., Marston, Van Pelt and Maybury. The U.S. National Register of Historic Places thematic group submission describes it as a one-story reinforced concrete structure in the Spanish Colonial Revival style with white stucco walls and a red tile roof. Its main entrance is defined by massing the Churrigueresque ornamentabove the door. The mass of the entrance wing is raised above the main roof, picking up the roof line as a cornice line and suggesting a formal order. The windows further emphasize the public and private zone of the building by their size and decoration. On the north facade, the reading room has two pairs of French doors while the windows for the stacks are small and above eye level, all being protected by the traditional Spanish wrought-iron grilles.

In the past, when the historic branch was in service, one entered the library through a decorated oak vestibule with glass panels and finials. The children's reading room had a fireplace, a vaulted beamed ceiling, east wall of multi-paned windows and two pairs of French doors. The room is known as the Robin Hood Room because the tile flanked fireplace had a hand-painted tile overmantle depicting a young boy reading, surrounded by fantasy fairies, knights, and a castle. The interior entry to the auditorium was next to the fireplace, with the formal entry on the east facade. A pergola connected the mass of the auditorium to the main building and served as a transition to the garden.

The Wilmington Irving Branch was designated a Historic-Cultural Monument (No.308) by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission in 1986. In 1987, along with several other branch libraries in Los Angeles, it was placed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in a thematic group submission.

In 1988, the old branch was closed and the library moved to a new location, at 1300 N. Avalon Boulevard, Wilmington, CA 90744. The city of Los Angeles renovated the building for the Wilmington Historical Society. The former Wilmington Library building is also used as Wilmington Community Building housing a local Gang Alternatives Program (G.A.P.).

Address: 309 W. Opp St, Wilmington, CA 90744

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

Facebook (landmark): https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wilmington-Branch/104101616294169

Status: Relocated to 1300 N. Avalon Boulevard, Wilmington, CA 90744. The original site is now used by the Wilmington Historical Society and as Wilmington Community Building housing a local Gang Alternatives Program (G.A.P.).

Additional Resources

Colon, M. O. (1995, January 12). Wilmington : Library will be home for Historical Society. 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.

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.