Arroyo Seco Regional Branch Library

Best Newly Remodeled Library, August 2008

With its two-story stone tower, the Arroyo Seco Regional Branch Library looks like it was plucked from a storybook. Thanks to a 1998 bond measure to improve L.A.’s libraries, it was razed and rebuilt in 2003 by M2A Architects. The 14,000-square-foot structure, modeled on early-20th-century Craftsman design, features river rock, exposed brick, a wood-beam ceiling, etched-glass windows, wrought-iron railings, bronze light fixtures, and dark oak furniture. An old-fashioned rocking chair in the children’s room is an ideal spot for curling up with a fairy tale.