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Former Santa Monica Planning Commissioner to Discuss History of Los Angeles Library  

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By Lookout Staff

January 23, 2017 -- Former Planning Commissioner and architectural historian Ken Breisch will trace the history of the iconic Los Angeles Central Library during a presentation in Santa Monica on Sunday.

At the presentation at 2 p.m. in the Santa Monica Main Library's MLK Auditorium, Breisch, an assistant professor at USC's School of Architecture, will discuss his new book "The Los Angeles Central Library: Building an Architectural Icon, 1872-1933."
Los Angeles Library

"The construction of the Los Angeles Central Library marked the evolution of the L.A. public library system from an elite organization ensconced in two rooms in downtown L.A. into one of the largest public library systems in the United States," event organizers said.

(Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library)

"It was yet another factor in the 'coming of age' of the city and the region."

Breisch, who served on the Santa Monica Public Library Board, has been studying the history of libraries for decades, organizers said.

In his book, he "draws upon a wealth of primary source material to tell the story of one of the most important American buildings of the twentieth century," organizers said.

Breisch served on Santa Monica's Planning Commission for seven years, helping shape many of the city's planning polices during the 1990s ("Planning Commission Chair Resigns," May 17, 2000).

He founded USC’s graduate Historic Preservation Program, now called Heritage Conservation, which has received the California Preservation Foundation President's and a Los Angeles Conservancy Preservation awards.

The event is co-sponsored by the Society of Architectural Historians/Southern California Chapter (SAH/SCC).

The program is free and open to all ages. Space is limited and on a first arrival basis. The Santa Monica Public Library is wheelchair accessible. For special disabled services, call Library Administration at (310) 458-8606 at least one week before the event.

The Main Library is served by Big Blue Bus routes 1, 7, R7, R10 and 18 and provides bicycle parking racks.

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