Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It's historic! Main Street Library and Triangle Park listed on National Register

   We're 104-years-old and getting older everyday.  And now, one of our treasured local landmarks has been recognized for its contributions and place in the history of Huntington Beach.

   On April 16, 2013, the U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service announced the Huntington Beach Public Library on Triangle Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

   Within days of the City's incorporation "some local organizations and the Huntington Beach Women's Club called a mass meeting on February 15, 1909, to form a library association."  There weren't many paved streets, we were still trying to install lighting and telephone service, but at the top of the agenda for the community was the establishment of a public library. And so it began in a borrowed wooden building, with a rocking chair, a few lamps and the community's first collection of books.

   The Huntington Beach Public Library on Triangle Park became the City's sole library in 1951, sitting atop one of our oldest parks--once the site of early 1900s baseball games, horseshoe tournaments and checkerboard chats.   It is spot #12 and #13 on the historic downtown Walking Tour.

   Since the opening of our Main Street Library, our nation has witnessed the Civil Rights Movement, the Korean War, the release of the Beatles and Billy Holiday's first LPs, man walking on the moon, the Vietnam War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, eleven presidents, the birth of Rock and Roll, the birth of Rap, the invention of the Internet, Facebook, Youtube, texting, WiFi, and Twitter.  Our little library was there for the introduction of Marshmallow Peeps, Tang, old Coketurducken, Watergate salad, New Coke, California rolls, Classic Coke, TofurkeySmart Water, kale everything, deep fried Twinkies, the demise of the Twinkie, and Kogi BBQ.

   Through all the cultural and social changes, it's always been about the books, the open sharing of information, "...the one secular institution which encourages self development as an aim." (Josiah P. Quincy, 1875)

   Congratulations little library!  Well done.

Read more about the history of the Main Street Library and Triangle Park, Historic Walking Tour #12 and #13: Main Street Library and Triangle Parkhttp://www.historichuntingtonbeach.blogspot.com/2012/08/historic-walking-tour-12-and-13-main.html and Saving History: The Main Street Library and Triangle Park, http://historichuntingtonbeach.blogspot.com/2012/12/saving-history-main-street-library-and.html

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