courtesy of Security Pacific Collection, Los Angeles Public Library

Watts, Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County area, Los Angeles County region

opened 1913
Public library from 1913-1960
demolished, c. 1970s

grant amount: $10,000
architectural style: Classical Revival (Type B)
architect: Elmore Jeffery

Watts was a small working man's city without a library at the time of its application for Carnegie funding. A grant of $10,000 was received in 1913 and the building was completed in 1914. The architect Elmore Jeffery designed the building in the Classical Revival style. The builder was H.E. La Rue. With little tax base, Watts had trouble providing utilities and services, including library service, and became the only Los Angeles County municipality to join the county library system before 1917. In 1926, seeking relief from the postwar depression and unemployment, and needing a larger base, Watts sought annexation to Los Angeles. The Watts Library then became a branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. In 1957, voters approved a Branch Library Bond Issue, and funding was made available for the construction of a new facility. The new Watts Branch was opened in 1960. The Carnegie building is no longer standing.

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