The courtyard at the Santa Monica Main Library ranked number five on a list of the 10 most peaceful public places. (Photo courtesy Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners)

The courtyard at the Santa Monica Main Library ranked number five on a list of the 10 most peaceful public places. (Photo courtesy Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners)

MAIN LIBRARY

Finding peace and quiet

It seems that those who want some peace and quiet should head over to the Bookmark Cafe at the Main Library.

That’s according to editors of Menasha Ridge Press’ “Peaceful Places” guidebook series, who were asked by USA Today to chose the top 10 places to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

The cafe and its courtyard were number five on the list of peaceful places. The library is “gorgeous,” but the cafe in the central courtyard is “worth a visit on its own merit,” said “Peaceful Places Los Angeles” author Laura Randall.

“Two dozen umbrella-shaded tables surround a desert garden and river design, and reverence for the proximity to so many books seems to keep cellphone gabbers and kids in check,” Randall said.

Greg Mullen, who runs Santa Monica’s libraries, said a “major vision for the Main Library was a strong connection to the outdoors.”

“With the central courtyard, and its sustainable landscape, visitors can be in the library and be outside at the same time,” Mullen added.

Since the library opened in January 2006, it has logged nearly 7 million visits.

10 top peaceful places

1) Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, Chicago

2) The Winter Garden, Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago

3) The Cloisters, New York

4) James Irvine Japanese Garden, Los Angeles

5) Bookmark Cafe, Santa Monica Main Library

6) The National Building Museum, Washington

7) Butterfly Habitat Garden, Washington

8) Bix supper club, San Francisco

9) Boston Athenaeum, Boston

10) Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

 

— Kevin Herrera

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