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  • Central Library Architecture - North Entrance

    The North Entrance, which was originally designed as the Library’s loading dock and service entrance in 1927, was constructed as part of the 1984 stacks project.

    In what must have been his only failure to plan for change far into the future and probably because he had not recognized the potential for growth of the automobile, Myron Hunt only planned for five parking spaces at the rear of the building.

    For the North Entrance, Mr. Taylor designed a staircase that is a replica of the Library’s front entrance. A special mold was made to replicate the curved steps. The large blocks, on either side of the staircase, are an original Myron Hunt design and were part of the old loading dock.

    In addition to the stairs, a new lift for the disabled was also built just east of this entrance. Accessibility was one of the primary objectives of the stacks and North Entrance project. This is one of four lifts throughout the building which were built to meet this objective.

    The exterior lights are also replicas of the original exterior lights located on the south entrance. The pattern of the brickwork and the wrought iron handrails were also reproduced so that both entrances are nearly identical.

    As anticipated at the time the plans for the North Entrance were made, sixty to seventy percent of the Library’s users now enter through here.

    The North Entrance opens into a lovely foyer named the Edward M. Szynaka Hall. It is so named in honor of Mr. Szynaka, Library Director from 1981 until 1994, who envisioned the Library's restoration and brought it to completion.

    The floor here is made of polished Italian marble. Special quarter sawn oak furniture was made to neatly house free materials, such as newspapers.

    On the east wall is the Foundation's Donor Wall with its large plaque, designed by Adele Bass. The plaque features an etching of the Library's south facade and is made of satin finish bronze. The panel is composed of individual tiles, each bearing a donor's name and gift category and is designed to have names added as contributions are made to the Pasadena Public Library Foundation.