Whittier Whittier

Whittier, Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County area, Los Angeles County region

opened 1907
Public library from 1907-1958
demolished, 1959

grant amount: $10,000
architectural style: Classical Revival (Type B)
architect: F. P. Burnham

Whittier's first library, established in 1888 by the WCTU, predated the town's incorporation by ten years. In 1900, the new city elected a board of library trustees, who set out to raise funds to rent and equip a reading room. Its first librarian was a telegraph operator who volunteered to keep the reading room open from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. in return for space in the front room for a telegraph office. Other rented space followed until help was sought from Carnegie. A grant of $10,000 was offered. Whittier then proceeded to become one of relatively few communities to succeed in obtaining supplementary funds, bringing the total to $12,500. The architect F.P. Burnham designed the building in the Classical Revival style. The builder was D. P. Couplin. The library opened on June 29, 1907. The building was enlarged in 1928, without Carnegie funding. It served as a library until completion of a new library located in the Civic Center. The building was demolished in 1959.