The History of the Los Feliz Library
An excerpt from the original article by Raymond Coty
Friends of Los Feliz Library Newsletter 2009
In 1950, the branch
moved to a storefront at
1939 1 ⁄ 2 Hillhurst, where
its book collection and
public usage continued
to increase steadily
The Los Feliz Branch Library first opened in 1923 and became part of the Los Angeles Public Library system in 1924. Originally, the branch was located on Vermont Avenue, but in subsequent years it moved many times throughout the community. In 1950, the branch moved to a storefront at 1939 1 ⁄2 Hillhurst Avenue, where its book collection and public usage continued to increase steadily.
By 1978, the branch had expanded into a number of adjacent spaces and occupied approximately 1,000 square feet. Eventually, the library department, the Friends of the Los Feliz Library, community members, elected officials and the Board of Library
Commissioners, determined the need for a permanent space and began to develop plans for a facility that would serve the needs of the community.
In 1994, the Northridge earthquake caused the temporary branch to close at the
1939 1/2 Hillhurst location, and a year later, the branch was relocated to the vacant Yellow Ribbon Market space at 1801 Hillhurst Avenue. Architect Barton Phelps was commissioned to design the new 10,500 square foot building at 1874 Hillhurst Avenue on the corner of Hillhurst and Franklin Avenues with funding from the Library Bond Proposition #1 passed by voters in 1989.
The new Los Feliz Library opened to the public on April 8, 1999 amid much fanfare. Junior Girl Scout Troop #864, Thomas Starr King Middle School Drill Team, then-Mayor Richard Riordan, Councilman John Ferraro, City Librarian Susan Kent and Irmelin DiCaprio entertained the waiting crowd. The John Marshall Brass Quintet performed lively fanfare, the ribbon was cut and the Los Feliz community entered their new library.
The Los Feliz Library has a vast collection of over 56,000 books, dvds, cds and special items. Additionally, there is the Helen Bernstein Meeting Room named in honor of the former member of the Board of Library Commissioners and the Leonardo DiCaprio Computer Center. There are Virtual Library workstations funded by the Walt Disney Company Foundation “Adopt-a-Branch” program and regularly scheduled programs for children, teens, adults and families.
Invite from the
Los Feliz Branch Library
Grand Opening, 1999