William Clark Andrews Library Reborn and You Are Invited

IIn April of 2015 TNN reported on the temporary closure of the Williams Andrews Clark Library for building upgrades.  Here is the report from the Clark on the exciting reopening this January:

DEC17clark4We are delighted to report that on Jan 21, 2018 there will be a ribbon-cceunremony, open to the public. It will include a poetry reading by Maximillian Novak, professor emeritus of English, 18th-century-themed desserts curated from recipes found within the library’s collection, and maybe even some croquet on the lawn, a favorite activity of the library’s namesake.

Clark librarians are also putting together an exhibit highlighting the history of the Clark, featuring archival photos and documents from the collection, which will be on display for the grand reopening.

It was a massive undertaking to retrofit a building on the California historic registry, which required some creative problem solving. Contractors had to drill down through the roof to reinforce the building with earthquake-safe rebar. For part of the exterior of the new pavilion, they found the original brick maker, who was able to replicate the historic brickwork and unique lavender grout that is a signature of the original building. Much of the electrical system also had to be upgraded.

The project included major reinforcements for earthquake safety, as well as reallocating office spaces, and building an entirely new pavilion that allows space for an elevator and ramps that improve access for people with disabilities.

Clark staff and UCLA architects took the opportunity to make other changes as well, adding Wi-Fi access to all spaces, building an expanded annex to store the library’s burgeoning collection, constructing a new orientation room to introduce scholars and visitors to the Clark’s services and policies, as well as creating a fully equipped smart classroom that will facilitate interactions with the collections by students, faculty, and other researchers.

With the support of generous donors, staff also took the opportunity to undertake a variety of cleaning and restoration projects, including restoring the intricately painted ceilings in the Clark’s vestibule, and repairing and cleaning two large decorative stone urns and four fountains on the grounds. A 1930s sun-dial was also repaired and now hangs prominently on the new building. A new, airier lounge area for visiting scholars will be named in honor of beloved professor Novak, who has been a fixture at the Clark for decades.

Finishing touches are still underway, but some of the much-loved Clark events have already begun anew onsite, including an October chamber music performance from the Lincoln Trio. An opera based on Jane Auste-n’s “Mansfield Park,” especially created for the Clark, and directed by Peter Kazaras, director of Opera UCLA, was performed in June. The Clark’s monthly classical performances are back for the 2017-2018 season.

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

2520 Cimarron Street

Los Angeles, CA 90018

(310) 794-5155   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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