The nation's third largest public library, the Richard J. Riordan Central Library is centered on the handsome original building, designed in 1926 by Bertram Goodhue. Restored to their pristine condition, a pyramid tower and a torch symbolizing the "light of learning" crown the building. The Cook rotunda on the second floor features murals by Dean Cornwell depicting the history of California, and the Tom Bradley Wing, named for another mayor, has a soaring eight-story atrium.
The library offers frequent special exhibits, plus a small café where you can refuel. Don't ignore the gift shop, which is loaded with unique items for readers and writers. Hour-long walking tours are offered Tuesday to Friday at 12:30, Saturday at 11 and 2, and Sunday at 2. A self-guided tour map is also available on library's website.