HANCOCK PARK : Historic Library Getting Shored Up

Work began last week on the renovation and expansion of the John C. Fremont Branch Library, a historic building closed since 1990 because its masonry did not meet seismic safety codes.

The project, paid with library bond funds from 1989's Proposition 1, will cost about $2.9 million. In addition to seismic reinforcement, the work will add 6,000 square feet of parking and library space. Improvements will include air conditioning, carpeting, a computerized book catalogue and better accessibility for disabled patrons.

Built in 1927, the library combines elements of Italian- and Spanish-style architecture. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the city's historic cultural monuments. The library is named after the noted explorer, soldier and politician John C. Fremont.

Since the closure of the building at 6121 Melrose Ave., the library has been operating out of temporary quarters at 736 La Brea Ave.

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