Friday, February 27, 2009
This is one of the staircases in the library where I have worked for the past twenty years. It winds its way up three floors, and of course I am up and down it many times every day, poking into various parts of the book collection. The building opened its doors in 1950. Brushed aluminum and terrazzo must have seemed at the time like the latest word in practical modernity. Milton T. Pflueger was the principal architect.
From what I can gather, Pflueger Architects were a reliable, middle-of-the-road firm. They are better remembered by local historians than by scholars of architecture, having designed scores of public buildings in California, most of them modest in scale and budget. The library building as a whole, after almost 60 years, is antiquated and inconvenient in many respects. But I give the Pfluegers credit here. The staircase still looks elegant. And it functions perfectly.