TOPANGA CANYON—The City of Topanga Canyon celebrated the opening of the Topanga Canyon library on Saturday, January 21 at 11 a.m. The 11,000 sq. ft. LEED Silver rating library serves as a unique addition to the city. The library itself is designed to reflect literary and artistic traditions to showcase a lifelong commitment to learning.
The library features an 11,048 sq. ft one-story elevated building, a central reading room and a children’s area with a storytelling space. There is also a meeting room with a 62-person capacity, a study room and a homework center. In addition, there is up-to-date computer equipment and Friends of the Topanga Library Bookstore.
Roughly 30 local artists contributed their creative artwork and ideas for this project. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky’s office offered additional funds for the project and awarded commissions to four Topanga artists. The four artists chosen to create their original works for the library were Matt and Paul Doolin, Norman Grochowski, Meagan Rice and Jim Sullivan. These artists were picked due to their shared interest in the environment.
Norman Grochowski’s “The Spirit Is Like the Wind” consists of three monuments: nine-foot painted steel flowers with petals as open books and two larger than life dragonflies that greet visitors of the library along the outdoor terrace. The flowers, weighing 350 to 400 pounds apiece, were constructed of steel with pieces of broken ceramic tiles. The dragonflies were made out of broken chinaware. There are six light sconces shaped like creatures sprinkled along the interior walls of the building.
Jim Sullivan’s “First Light” is a 5 X 8 tile rug that sits inside the main entrance of the library and is made up of handmade unglazed tiles arranged within the pattern of a flame. Sullivan chose this flame to signify knowledge and passion to represent how the library’s collective intellect illuminates the world.
Meagan Rice has two colorful sculptures that are located within the children’s section of the library. “A Great Tale” features a little boy sitting on a tree stump reading a book to his dog. “The Horse Reader” consists of a young girl reading a book while lying on her pony’s back.
The last piece, entitled “Topanga View (with locals)” was constructed by brothers Matt and Paul Doolin. The ceramic tile mural depicts a realistic nature scene that is engulfed with Topanga’s wildlife icons.
The original estimated project cost for the library was $6.8 million. The library is located at 122 N. Topanga Canyon Boulevard, Topanga Canyon. The library’s hours of operation are Tuesday-Thursday from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m – 6 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. The library is closed on Mondays.