Palms-Rancho Park Library

On April 1, 1915, a Los Angeles County public library opened in the Culver City–Palms train station.  The next month, on May 22, 1915, Palms became part of the City of Los Angeles, and half a dozen years later, Palms got its own branch of the City of Los Angeles Public Library.  During 1921 and 1922, the Palms Branch was in a rented Motor Avenue storefront.  By 1923, it had moved to city-owned land on the southwest corner of Woodbine and Vinton Avenues.  

In 1964, the library moved north to 2920 Overland Avenue (in what was once part of The Palms subdivision) where it became the Palms-Rancho Park Branch.  As of 2023, it is in its second building on that site.  Meanwhile, the county library relocated throughout Culver City until 1970, when it opened in its current building at 4975 Overland Avenue; it was renamed the Culver City Julian Dixon Library in January 2001.

Site of Palms’ first library: Culver City – Palms Pacific Electric/Southern Pacific train station.  The 1907 Ivy Substation is in the background at left edge.  (Courtesy Pacific Electric Railway Historical Society.)  
Outside the storefront library on the east side of Motor Avenue in 1921 and 1922.  (From Los Angeles’s The Palms Neighborhood, by George Louis Garrigues (1932-2022.)
Palms Library in 1925 at Woodbine and Vinton.  (Photo courtesy Los Angeles Public Library.)  
Enlarged Palms Library in 1945 at Woodbine and Vinton.  (Photo courtesy Los Angeles Public Library.)

When Palms needed a larger library, a voter-passed $6.4 million bond issue in 1957 provided funding for it.  Because the site northeast of Overland Avenue and National Boulevard was “the most central site in proximity to the community, and at the same time … of equal distance from existing branches at Mar Vista, West Los Angeles and Robertson,” in 1958 the Board of Library Commissioners favored the site of the Rainey estate at the northeast corner of Overland Avenue and National Boulevard.  The Palms community wanted the facility closer to its core, but to no avail.  In October 1959, the City decided to acquire more land “at Dunleer Pl. and Overland Ave.” and put the Palms Library next to Palms Park.  The additional lots were from the Vista Del Mar subdivision which would be demolished to make way for the coming (c. 1965) Santa Monica Freeway.  The freeway’s coming also led to situating the library on the park’s northwest corner rather than the southwest corner.

The Palms-Rancho Park library opened on August 12, 1964.  On November 25, 2002, a two-story 10,500 square foot, building replaced the 6400 square foot 1964 library.  The upstairs meeting room was named for Cheviot Hills neighbor, literary legend, and longtime patron Ray Douglas Bradbury (1920-2012); on September 23, 2013, the library was dedicated to him.​​

Pictured at the October 1963 groundbreaking are Linda Wallace (age 3) in front of Library Commission President Albert A. Le Vine; Councilwoman Rosalind Wyman; Ralph Grogdon and Bill Rust of the Westwood Gardens Civic Association; Bill Highes of the Palms Chamber of Commerce; and Eloise Gillham, of the Rancho Park Chamber of Commerce.  (Photo courtesy Los Angeles Public Library.)
Illustration in flyer for the August 12, 1964, dedication. (Photo courtesy Los Angeles Public Library.)
August 12, 1964.   (Photo courtesy Los Angeles Public Library.)
Ray Bradbury speaking at the library in 1972.   (Photo courtesy Los Angeles Public Library.)
January 2002 library reconstruction.
Palms- Rancho Park Branch Library.
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