One of the best things about our jobs here at the Buzz is that it encourages us to explore wonderful places in both our own local neighborhood and in adjacent and nearby areas. Last week, we decided to check out one of our “nearby” treasures, attending the open house at UCLA’s William Andrews Clark Library, located at 2520 Cimarron St. (at the NE corner of Cimarron and W. Adams Blvd.).
Williams Andrews Clark, Jr., for whom the library is named, was born in Montana, in 1877, to a father who was a wealthy copper baron and U.S. Senator. As an adult, Clark, Jr. earned a law degree and worked for a mining firm in Montana. Eventually he moved to Los Angeles, where he became a founder of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, helped fund construction of the Hollywood Bowl, and purchased a large home on W. Adams Blvd., along with several adjacent lots. Around 1917, Clark also became an avid collector of rare and historic books, a passion which soon required him to build a library on the property to house his extensive collection. The library, designed by architect Robert D. Farquhar, with decorative ideas from Clark himself, was completed in 1926. And after Clark’s death in 1934, it was was deeded to the “Southern Branch of the University of California,” which we now know as UCLA…and which still owns and runs the library.
Today, the facility houses Clark’s large collection of 17th and 18th century books, is home to the nation’s first research center for early modern studies, and hosts a variety of special events (conferences, exhibits, lectures, concerts, etc.) related to its core interests. Finally, it also recently launched an heirloom seed library, from which visitors can borrow seeds, grow plants and return seeds from the plants they’ve grown.
The library’s reading room is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, and the beautiful grounds are open for strolling and quiet contemplation from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Tours are also available several times a month, or by appointment.
Last Thursday, October 10, the Clark Library held an open house, so friends, neighbors and the public could see the facility and learn more about its collections, programs and activities…and the Buzz was delighted to attend. Here are some images from the event.