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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Old Cypress Park library declared historic landmark

Photo by Charlie Fisher

The City Council on Wednesday approved declaring the former Richard Henry Dana Library in Cypress Park a historic cultural monument. The 85-year-old Georgian-Revival style building on  Pepper Avenue  has been vacant since  it was replaced by  a new larger library.  The old library, which is already listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was constructed in 1926 when the library system added 12 branches, according to a Cultural Heritage Commission staff report. How did the old Cypress Park library end up named after a 19th century author and sailor? The staff report explains:

It was given the name of Richard Henry Dana as a part of an effort to have the public submit name ideas after famous literary icons and pioneers related to California.

The old library, which has been eyed as a possible senior center and other uses, was nominated as a city landmark by the Highland Park Heritage Trust.

Related item:

  • Old Cypress Park library nominated as a city landmark. The Eastsider
  • Monument application and city staff report. City of L.A.


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  1. I think Richard Henry Dana was a fitting choice, his Two Years Before the Mast was really the first book published about Alta California and gives a view of the areas (up and down the coast) and life not available elsewhere, as it was all firsthand knowledge and experience.
    It’s worth reading:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Years_Before_the_Mast

    Glad to see his namesake is being saved.

  2. I remember coming to this library. We used to walk from Aragon to the Library.

  3. This library has been vacant and neglected for years. It has been vandalized and historically items stolen. I am glad to see something will finally be done to restore it. However, items that were stolen are not replaceable. And, the place should not have been abandoned by the city for so long.

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