Santa Monica
courtesy of Image Archives, Santa Monica Public Library

Santa Monica, Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County area, Los Angeles County region

opened 1904
Public library from 1904-1965
demolished, 1974

grant amount: $12,500
architectural style: Classical Revival (Type B)
architect: Marsh & Russell


Santa Monica's earliest recorded library, begun by an individual woman in 1876, had disappeared before a group of women started a subscription library in 1884, two years before the city's incorporation. That library became the nucleus of the 1888 Women's Christian Temperance Union library. The WCTU purchased a lot and a building, renting some of the space to help meet costs of maintaining the library. By 1890, however, costs had become too high, and they donated the library to the city. The city maintained the library in other rented quarters. In 1893 it was established as a free public library, and in 1904 the city obtained a $12,500 Carnegie grant. The building was designed by architects Marsh and Russell in the Classical Revival style. In 1916 additional Carnegie funds were obtained to build Santa Monica's Ocean Park Branch. Without Carnegie help, the main library was extensively remodeled in 1926-27 at a cost of $50,000. A new library was built in 1965 and the old Carnegie building demolished in 1974.


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