Long Beach Long Beach

Long Beach, Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County area, Los Angeles County region

opened 1909
Public library from 1909-1972
demolished, 1973

grant amount: $30,000
architectural style: Classical Revival (Type A)
architect: F. P. Burnham

The books of an early WCTU library became the nucleus of the Long Beach Library Association in 1895. The city incorporated two years later and the library, which had occupied a succession of locations, moved to city hall in 1899. It became a free and tax-supported library in 1902, the same year that a Carnegie inquiry was first made. In 1908 the city was offered $12,500. After much controversy a site was purchased, and the city committed itself to $3,000 annually from city taxes. There followed an extensive correspondence with Carnegie, and finally the amount was increased to $30,000; the library ultimately cost $34,000. The architect, F. P. Burnham designed the building in the Classical Revival style. The builder was Weymouth Crowell. The cornerstone was laid September 5, 1908, the building was opened to the public on May 19, 1909, and was dedicated on June 15. A new library was already being planned in 1972 when the old library was damaged by fire; the old building was then demolished to make way for the new structure.