Declared one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, Los Angeles Central Library is a monument to fine architecture and artwork, its renowned collection of the written word, and its world-class special collections. The Central Library and its history are as fascinating as any of the storied volumes found on its shelves. City leaders fought for decades to build a landmark structure and later battled to demolish it, yet generations of Angelenos have watched the building stand tall, survive fires, and endure into the twenty-first century, ready to face a high-tech society that thought it could live without books.Year after year Central Library proves its essential place in the heart of Los Angeles. Its beautiful building, paintings, murals, sculptures, decor, and storied tile work are captured by the lens of photographer and graphic designer Arnold Schwartzman. And its remarkable story of dramatic visuals and civic involvement is chronicled by architectural historian Stephen Gee.