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Authors on Architecture: Breisch on the Central Library
SAH/SCC Talk & Book Signing, Santa Monica
Sunday, January 29, 2017

Please join SAH/SCC and the Santa Monica Public Library (Moore Ruble Yudell, 2006) for a very special program celebrating the all things library. Focusing on the iconic Los Angeles Central Library (Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, 1933), author Kenneth A. Breisch, Ph.D., will discuss his new bookThe Los Angeles Central Library: Building an Architectural Icon, 1872-1933(Getty Research Institute, 2016).

The construction of the Los Angeles Central Library marked the evolution of the LA public library system from an elite organization ensconced in two rooms in downtown LA, into one of the largest public library systems in the United States. It was yet another factor in the “coming of age” of the city and the region.

Architect Bertram Goodhue developed a new style, fully integrating the building’s sculptural and epigraphic program with its architectural forms to express a complex iconography. Working closely with sculptor Lee Oskar Lawrie and philosopher Hartley Burr Alexander, he created a great civic monument that, combined with the library’s murals, embodies an overarching theme: the light of learning.

Breisch, a former member of the Santa Monica Public Library Board, teaches architectural history at the University of Southern California (USC) and has been studying the architecture of libraries for decades. In his new book, Breisch draws upon a wealth of primary source material to tell the story of one of LA’s lasting treasures. Breisch is past president of the national Society of Architectural Historians as well as a Life and Advisory Board Member of our local chapter.

This beautiful new book will be available for sale and signing by the author.

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