Friday, October 01, 2010

Vintage Photo Friday

Beverly Hills Public Library, 1963, Martin Stern, Architect (demolished)

Above is a photo of the Beverly Hills Public Library of my youth. Alison Martino posts lots of great photos on Facebook as part of the Mid-Century Modern and Historical Los Angeles in the 60's, 70's and 80's group. She found most of these shots. Thank you, Alison!
When I was very small, the BH Library used to be housed in one of the top floors of the BH City Hall. I remember taking the old-fashioned, glass and wrought iron-door elevator with my brother. The view from the windows at the top of City Hall in those days was spectacular.
I guess the Library needed more room, so in the early 60's renowned architect Martin Stern was hired and built a beautiful building, finished in 1963. The mosaic on the sides of the building depicted an abstraction of book spines. Sadly, this building was demolished in the 80's so a bigger library and more offices could be built in the Spanish/Moorish Revival style of the City Hall.
The City of Beverly Hills has no architectural preservation laws. Many architecturally significant homes, shops and public buildings have been demolished within the City limits in the past 20 years.
Water Feature!!
OK, time to get off the soapbox.
More about architect, Martin Stern. I had no idea that Martin Stern was the architect for my beloved Library building!! After a bit of research (love you, innernets!), I found out that Mr. Googie, himself was responsible for this gorgeous building. Martin Stern was the designer of Encino Village homes, many Las Vegas Strip hotels and restaurants and all three Ship's Coffee Shops in the L.A. area!I salute you, Martin Stern, for beautifying our landscape (at least for a little while) and for your contributions to modern architecture in the SouthWest!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone AND remember to actually look at the buildings that you zoom past! Many of them are worth saving!

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At 12:47 PM PDT, Blogger Beth McDermott Oliver said...

I used to love that building and never understood why they demolished it. Whenever I drove by with Mindy when she was a little girl she would always point and tell me to look at all the books on the wall.

At 12:49 PM PDT, Blogger Ellen Bloom said... sad. Sigh.

At 3:52 PM PDT, Anonymous Suzette said...

Hard to believe. What a loss. I wonder how Mr. Stern felt. A little Google search informed me that he died in 2001.

At 2:55 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in a little town that is full of beautiful old buildings. They have done well here to preserve so many! Have a great weekend.

At 7:28 AM PDT, Blogger Pamela Leone Design said...

Just stumbled across your post, Thanks for sharing the photos of this work of Martin Stern. I've never seen this one before and such a shame it's gone! I have a home in Stern's Encino Village, also as an Interior Designer and board member of the Association for Women in Architecture and Design I have an interest in seeing the archive of work preserved by all in our profession. What a building!

At 8:06 AM PDT, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Thanks for your comment, Pamela!


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