William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

Donated to the University of California in 1926 during its construction, the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library was one of the earliest locally designated historic landmarks for the City of Los Angeles and has also been listed on the California Register of Historic Places.

ARG served as Prime Architect for a rehabilitation of the building, which included a seismic retrofit, accessibility and fire-safety upgrades, and a new entry pavilion.

The seismic rehabilitation of the unreinforced masonry wall used core drilling technology to minimize impacts on the building’s lavish interior finishes. The new entry pavilion provides a secure, and accessible means of entrance and exit from the basement level reading rooms and research/storage areas.

The entry pavilion derived its form from the library’s materiality, massing and color palette. A modern structure, the pavilion is an assemblage of glass, steel and brick. A simple cast stone base is a subtle reference to the more ornate, heaver travertine base of the Clark. The brick façade is the same dimension, texture and color blend as the existing library.


The building is LEED Silver certified.


The new brick on the pavilion was sourced from the original Aberhill Clay Mine in Lake Elsinore that has been in continuous operation for over 100 years. The same bricks are still made by Pacific Clay Products.

Early warning smoke detection systems were provided to minimize impact to the historic spaces. A VESDA system or (Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus) uses aspirators (or sniffers) that take regular samples of the air before a fire even breaks out.

ARG provided conservation monitoring of historic architectural features, finishes, and collections to ensure that dust and vibration would not damage these priceless collections and irreplaceable finishes.

Several bronze sculptures located on the campus were cleaned and treated by ARG Conservation Services.


For a full list of honors received by the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, please click HERE.

Photography by Stephen Schafer

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