Many of our younger or newer residents do not know that the portion of the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library building on the corner of Wall and Girard was once our community book library. This beautiful structure was designed by William Templeton Johnson and built in 1921 to take the place of La Jolla’s original Reading Room that was built in 1898 on Girard and Wall. Way back in the late 1960’s and early 70’s, when attended Muirlands Junior High and La Jolla High School, I would ride my bike over after school and use the library as a quiet place to study and read. There is nothing like the smell of books in an old building to make one feel studious!
[slider_pro id=”10″] By 1989 library use had increased to the point that the new La Jolla Public Library was built over on Draper Avenue with major donors being Francis Riford and Joan and Irwin Jacobs. The Athenaeum
Back in 2010, I was driving “my” old library and noticed that the paint was peeling in several areas. I could not let this continue and so I contacted the director, Erika Torri, and asked if Peek Brothers could “adopt” the building exterior and re-paint it . With our donated labor and material, we were glad to get it back to its former glory! It was quite a chore though….as we started to wash the stucco, all the paint from years of maintenance came off down to raw stucco in many areas. What started as a touch up ended up as a full restoration of the plaster and stucco surfaces. After extensive patching; we fully primed and then applied two coats of elastomeric coating to smooth out the look. It gives me great pleasure to drive by “my library” and enjoy its beauty and remember all the great books I have read there over the years. I hope you will enjoy it to!