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Post-Mule Car Service, Boyle Heights' Library Sees Upgrades

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The Benjamin Franklin Library at 2200 1st Street is currently undergoing exterior upgrades, all part of a plan to improve the area around Ist and Chicago streets. In addition to this project, there's the new AC Martin-designed Hollenback LAPD station across street, and next door, the Chicago Plaza Building is being renovated. Library Commission meeting notes dated September 10, 2009 reference the forthcoming Gold Line, and note that "...Councilmember Huizar wants to redesign the landscaping of the library to provide a more welcoming front to people visiting the 1st Street 'civic plaza' area." To that end, local landscaping firm Ah’be will do the landscaping next year. According to the meeting notes, this library was the site of the first branch library in Los Angeles. And check out the history off the web site: "Library service in Boyle Heights goes back to 1889 with the formation of the Boyle Heights Library Association, which offered a free reading room and books at a low rental fee. This reading room became a center for discussion and the exchange of ideas. In 1886 a mule car service had been established on First Street extending to Cummings, so this was a natural location for the library discussion center to flourish." This current library was re-built in 1975, according to the meeting notes.
· A Brief Benjamin Franklin Branch Library History [LAPL.org]
· AC Martin Brings the Glass Wall to Boyle Heights [Curbed LA]