Malabar Branch

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Malabar Branch
Malabar Branch Library, Los Angeles, California.JPG
Malabar Branch Library, 2008
Malabar Branch is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
Malabar Branch
Malabar Branch is located in California
Malabar Branch
Malabar Branch is located in the US
Malabar Branch
Location 2801 Wabash Ave., Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, California
Coordinates 34°3′2″N 118°11′47″W / 34.05056°N 118.19639°W / 34.05056; -118.19639Coordinates: 34°3′2″N 118°11′47″W / 34.05056°N 118.19639°W / 34.05056; -118.19639
Built 1927
Architect William L. Woollett
Architectural style Mediterranean Revival-Spanish Colonial Revival
MPS Los Angeles Branch Library System TR
NRHP Reference # 87001014[1]
LAHCM # 304
Added to NRHP May 19, 1987

Malabar Branch is a branch library of the Los Angeles Public Library located in the Boyle Heights section of Los Angeles, California.

The Malabar Branch began in 1914 as a book depository in a Sunday school room at the Brooklyn Heights Methodist Church on the corner of Evergreen Avenue and Malabar Street. The original collection consisted of approximately 900 books that were checked out on the honor system.

In 1925, a bond issue was passed by Los Angeles voters providing funds for the construction of 14 new branch libraries, including the current Malabar Branch. Construction on the new Mediterranean Revival-Spanish Colonial Revival building started in 1926, and the new library was opened in May 1927. The building was designed by architect William Lee Woollett.

Frieze above Malabar's front entrance
Front façade of Malabar Branch

The Malabar Branch was damaged in the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake and was closed. The branch was extensively renovated and reopened in 1992 with separate reading rooms for adults and children, a multipurpose room and a patron services room.

In 1987, the Malabar Branch and several other branch libraries in Los Angeles were added to the National Register of Historic Places as part of a thematic group submission.[2] The application noted that the branch libraries had been constructed in a variety of period revival styles to house the initial branch library system of the City of Los Angeles. With respect to the Malabar Branch, the application described the building as a one-story, brick structure designed in a revival style reminiscent of rural Latin America.[2]

The Malabar Branch is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b The Los Angeles Branch Library System TR Multiple Property Submission nomination explains 22 branch libraries but one, the University Branch, appears not to have been listed.

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