County Library Branch – Visalia CA

City:
Visalia, CA

Site Type:
Education and Health, Libraries

New Deal Agencies:
Public Works Funding, Public Works Administration (PWA)

Completed:
1936

Quality of Information:
Good

Marked:
No

Site Survival:
Extant

Description

The Public Works Administration (PWA) provided the funding for the Visalia branch public library, built in 1936. The design is Mission Revival, with tile roof, stucco walls and exposed beams. It has four wings extending from a central entrance with a raised roof.

In 1926 the city of Visalia offered to furnish a site and pay one-half the cost of a new library branch, but the county declined the offer. Then the PWA stepped in and the building was constructed as a city library.  In 1961, an addition was made to the south wing.

In 1976, a new joint Tulare County/Visalia City Library was constructed for $1.5 million. The Annie Mitchell History Room was added in 1983.  The old library was used for storage after 1976 until it was remodeled and converted into a children’s wing in 2008. 

A 1939 PWA report observed that, “The site selected for the new library is in a public park in the center of the city. Its central portion, 36 feet square, extends two stories in height thus providing light and ventilation for the circulation room. There are four wings, one each for adults’ reading room, children’s room, reference room, and bookstacks.

The building is constructed of reinforced concrete with exposed hand-hewn wood roof trusses and is designed to resist seismic disturbances. The interior has been treated throughout with acoustical materials.

It was completed in June 1936 at a construction cost of $33,076 and a project cost of $35,394.” (Short & Stanley-Brown)

Source notes

Short, C. W. and R. Stanley-Brown (1939) Public Buildings: Architecture Under the Public Works Administration, 1933 to 1939. United States Government Printing Office: Washington, DC.

https://www.tularecountylibrary.org/locations-visalia

Location Info


200 W. Oak Street
Visalia, CA 93291

Coordinates: 36.3319, -119.293

Site Details

Federal CostTotal Cost
$35,394.00 $35,394.00

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One comment on “County Library Branch – Visalia CA

  1. I worked on the restoration of this beautiful library with architect Chas Rhoads of Hanford, CA. It was a real pleasure to work on the project and it is one of the gems in downtown Visalia. My family goes there often. Thanks to the library administration for making this project a success. It has that wonderful 1930’s look with an art-deco flourish. And now I write about marketing for Architects. Who would have guessed!

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One comment on “County Library Branch – Visalia CA

  1. I worked on the restoration of this beautiful library with architect Chas Rhoads of Hanford, CA. It was a real pleasure to work on the project and it is one of the gems in downtown Visalia. My family goes there often. Thanks to the library administration for making this project a success. It has that wonderful 1930’s look with an art-deco flourish. And now I write about marketing for Architects. Who would have guessed!

Join the Conversation

Please note:

  • We are not involved in the management of New Deal sites and have no information about visits, hours or rentals.
  • This page shows all the information we have for this site; if you have new information or photos to share, click the button above.

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