The LAPL "Well Of Scribes"

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Chris Merritt
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The LAPL "Well Of Scribes"

Postby Chris Merritt » Wed May 26, 2004 12:49 pm

Hi all -
I'm trying to do some research on the architecture of the L.A. Public Library, and it's chief architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue.
Specifically, I am intrigued (probably because I can't seem to find a decent photo of it) by the original "Well Of Scribes" - now replaced by the odd mish-mash of styles done in 1993 by Jud Fine (The "Spine" project).

The USC website claims the 1926 original fountain as "lost"... Here is the photo they have...
<center><img src="http://www.usc.edu/isd/archives/la/pubart/LAPL/well_scribes.jpeg" width=400 border="0"></a></center><br>

How would it have been lost? Anyone out there who knows the history of the library well want to chime in? (Or send me a better photo? The LAPL photo dept. haven't gotten back to me yet...)
I know there was a fire in 1986 - exactly how much was lost?

Thanks!

Chris

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Thu May 27, 2004 4:36 pm

Have you been to this section of the LAPL.ORG databases index?

Library Images Index
The Library Buildings Collection consists of 110 large-format photos and architects' renderings of the Central Library and branches, including some buildings that are long since destroyed or were never built. Call the Rare Books Department at (213) 228-7350 for an appointment to view.

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Chris Merritt
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Postby Chris Merritt » Fri May 28, 2004 10:59 am

Thanks Chris - actually, I went down there yesterday (the whole photo library isn't on line yet, and alas - no close ups of the fountain).
Anyway, I found some nice shots - but I'll have to pay for them if I want copies!
In response to my "lost" question - it turns out that the librarians complained so loudly about the lack of parking, that in 1969 they razed the whole garden & Well Of Scribes - turning it into a parking lot. It remained as such until the "Spine" project in the 90s.

Sad - but par for the course in Los Angeles....

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60000MPH
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Fountain

Postby 60000MPH » Sat Apr 22, 2006 5:34 pm

I know the guy that redid all the citys fountains and swimming pools. he might knwo where it is. Did you ever find out?
The Earth is a Spacecraft

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:29 pm

There is a book for sale at the library gift shop called "Spine" by Judd Fine. Below are a couple of other more general titles. Tangaroa, did you complete your research?

60000, please tell us more about your friend - we have plenty of dry fountains that we would love to see working again.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006P ... oding=UTF8

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/087062 ... oding=UTF8

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60000MPH
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concrete treatment

Postby 60000MPH » Mon Apr 24, 2006 1:34 pm

for city parks swimming pools was some kind of paint applied product that did away with pre-etching and allowed the surface to be resurfaced while maintaining the newly adhered surface with ease. like polymer something. something he supposedly concocted and then got the contracts and spent years going around restoring all the old leaking swimming pools. and some of the larger fountains as well. I think he met the mayor after doing the fountain or something. remember a story about one that was missing from downtown and it had been put in a park far across town and they either moved and restored or left in place and restored. cant remember which. havent heard from my friend in a while, if I do I'll ask him about it. However, I do remember a story about a fountain that stood in front of the mayor's offices in NYC that was found in the Bronx. In that story I am pretty sure they did move the fountain but perhaps not back to its original location. Cant recall that one either I guess. Oh well. As long as they are being utilized. You know, given a second life.
J
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Lynxwiler
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Postby Lynxwiler » Sun Apr 30, 2006 6:24 am

Page 33 of "Fountains" by Virginia Comer has a vintage photo of the Well of Scribes with a description of it. The photo credits indicate it came from the Security Pacific Collection at the LAPL so you may have already seen it.

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Lynxwiler
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Postby Lynxwiler » Sun Apr 29, 2007 10:29 pm

Just found this:

Image

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Chris Merritt
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Postby Chris Merritt » Tue May 01, 2007 2:26 pm

That's great Eric! Thanks!


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