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Metro Digest / Local News in Brief

Final Plans OKd to Refurbish Library

October 04, 1989

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved final plans to refurbish and expand the fire-damaged Central Library for $180 million, but the costs could escalate as a result of underground methane gas and earthquake damage.

The 63-year-old landmark building, designed by architect Bertram Goodhue, has been closed since April 29, 1986, when fire caused an estimated $22 million in damage. A subsequent fire the next September caused an additional $2 million damage. More than 400,000 books were destroyed and another 700,000 were damaged.

Under the plans approved by the council in an 11-1 vote, the library is to be reopened April 1, 1993, after 30 months of construction and a six-month moving-in period, said Chief Librarian Betty Gay.

Councilman Ernani Bernardi cast the lone dissenting vote after arguing that citizens would be better served by more regional libraries.

Bids are to be released Oct. 13 after approval by the Library Commission and the Board of Public Works, and construction is expected to begin in April.

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