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Pasadena Central Library closes due to seismic security concerns

The recently reopened Pasadena Central Library has closed its doors to customers due to seismic security concerns, officials said this week.

The city’s building official, Sarkis Nazerian, ordered the immediate closure of the property at 285 E. Walnut St., after an assessment found that most of the building consisted of unreinforced masonry walls. The library will remain closed until the unsafe conditions have been corrected as per the order.

The Central Library, along with Pasadena’s Hastings and La Pintoresca branch libraries, reopened limited in-person services last month after LA County entered the Orange Level, the second four-phase reopening plan of state during the coronavirus pandemic. .

In a statement, city officials said that while Pasadena passed an ordinance in 1993 requiring all unreinforced masonry buildings to be refurbished, evacuated or demolished, they could not find any documentation explaining why the Central Library did not. had not been identified as such a building.

“We intend to do everything in our power to assess the seriousness of the problem and work on resolving it,” City Manager Steve Mermell said in a statement. “This library cannot be left vacant and we must keep it for another century of use.”

The Central Library was designed in 1924 by Myron Hunt, the architect who also designed Henry Huntington’s home in San Marino. It averaged about 1,000 visitors a day, according to city officials.

Officials said they were working to provide central library services at other libraries and that its staff would be reassigned to other branches.

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