Monday, February 24, 2014

Eugene Fickes: Library Architect

Do you remember the former, mid-twentieth century library? Eugene Fickes, a local architect, designed the library building that replaced Monrovia’s first free-standing library in Library Park. A growing population and heavy use of the small Carnegie library, built in 1908, necessitated the design of a larger structure, and Fickes was up for the challenge.

A World War II Army veteran who served as an Army Engineer, and a graduate of Penn State, Eugene Fickes was no stranger to architectural design. During his years in Southern California, he designed multiple hospitals and libraries including the main libraries in Burbank, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario, and Alhambra, in addition to Monrovia. The then new Monrovia Public Library, featuring a mid-century modern architectural design, was dedicated in January 1957, and it was enjoyed by residents of Monrovia into the twenty-first century, until it was torn down and replaced by our current edifice.

Source: “Architect Eugene Fickes of Ventura dies at 72,” Ventura County Star Free Press (Ventura, California), 4 June 1991; folder: “Fickes, Eugene,” vertical files; Heritage Room, Monrovia Public Library, Monrovia, California.

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