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Pasadena Central Library Closed Again; Structure Deemed To Be Hazardous In Event Of Earthquake

A structural assessment of the Central Library showed most of the building is made up of unreinforced masonry that support concrete floors and walls, according to Pasadena city officials.

By CBS Los Angeles , in Los Angeles , at May 4, 2021

original article published at https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2021/05/04/pasadena-central-library-closed-again-structure-deemed-hazardous-in-event-of-earthquake/

PASADENA (CBSLA) — The reopened Pasadena Central Library was abruptly closed again Monday due to seismic safety issues.

(credit: City Of Pasadena)

The library, which is at 285 E. Walnut St., recently resumed in-person services on a part-time basis as Los Angeles County moved into the state’s orange tier of reopening. But a structural assessment of the Central Library showed most of the building is made up of unreinforced masonry that support concrete floors and walls, according to Pasadena city officials.

Building made up of unreinforced masonry are considered a hazard to life due to their potential to collapse during an earthquake. Pasadena passed an ordinance in 1993 mandating that such buildings should be retrofitted, vacated, or demolished, but there are no records to indicate why Central Library was not identified as an unreinforced masonry building, city officials said.

“This is devastating news for us all. Central Library is more than just a building; it’s where generations of families have grown up, and an iconic building that completes our Civic Center as one of Pasadena’s treasures,” City Manager Steve Mermell said in a statement.

Central Library was designed by Myron Hunt and opened in 1927, and was the city’s first building completed in the historic Civic Center Plan. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has starred in a number of films over the years, including “Arachnophobia,” “Matilda,” “Legally Blonde,” and “Red Dragon.”

City officials say the library’s services and programs will be redirected to other locations. Hastings and La Pintoresca Branch recently reopened with limited hours, and Lamanda Park, Santa Catalina, Linda Vista, and San Rafael branch libraries will open next week. Hill Avenue branch will offer curbside pick-up for materials usually available at Central Library.

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