AKA: Los Angeles Public Library, Washington Irving Branch #1, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - social and civic buildings - libraries

Designers: Allison and Allison, Architects (firm); David Clark Allison (architect); James Edward Allison (architect)

Dates: constructed 1926

1 story

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1803 South Arlington Avenue
Mid-City, Los Angeles, CA 90019

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Arlington Avenue and West Eighteenth Street

The Washington Irving Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library opened on 12/13/1926 with a collection of 5,000 books. The building was a gabled rectangle, with an apsidal projection on one end. Its exterior was composed of upper layers of buff art brick and cement plaster, resting on lower courses of brick. This alternating layering of brick and plaster created an unusual and highly decorative effect, deriving from Italian Romanesque architecture. (Allison and Allison designed many of the buildings on the early UCLA Campus at about this time, some of which demonstrated this banded effect. A replacement Irving Branch paid homage to the first by retaining some of this banding.) The building was the second branch to be financed by a $1 million 1925 library bond issue.

PCAD id: 2670