Fodor's Expert Review Richard J. Riordan Central Library

Downtown Los Angeles Library/Archive

The nation's third-largest public library, the handsome Richard J. Riordan Central Library was 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. Free docent walking tours are offered Monday through Friday at 12:30, Saturday at 11 and 2, and Sunday at 2. An Art-in-the-Garden tour is on Saturdays at 12:30 pm. A self-guided tour map is also available on the library's website.

Library/Archive Free

Quick Facts

630 W. 5th St.
Los Angeles, California  90071, USA


Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free

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