I was born in 1914 and named Belvedere Library. I was one of the first branches of the Los Angeles County Public Library. You can reach me at the corner of Cesar E. Chavez and Hazard Avenue. After 1982, I was renamed “Anthony Quinn Library,” due to being located on the site of the childhood home of Anthony Quinn. Anthony Quinn was born on April 21, 1915 in Chihuahua, Mexico. He was raised by an Irish-Mexican father and a Mexican-Indian mother. His family moved to East Los Angeles when Anthony was a young boy. Before becoming an actor, he boxed professionally and later found interest in art and design. Anthony trained as an architect at Taliesin under Frank Lloyd Wright. Frank encouraged Quinn to become an actor. Quinn was the first Mexican-American to win an Academy Award. Quinn donated his collection of movie scripts and scrapbooks to me, his namesake library. Since then, I became an important community center and memorial to the actor. I have a mural known as the “Tree of Knowledge,” also known as the “Read” mural. The Chicana Action Center commissioned it in 1978. I symbolize the culture around the eastside through my background, and people can relate to me.
I am surrounded by one of the first streets built in East Los Angeles. It was originally called Brooklyn Street, but later changed to Cesar E. Chavez Avenue. Every day I see different car brands pass me. I also get to feel the nice sunny weather I enjoy. If I get lucky, I smell some delicious fresh beef being cooked down the block. A few blocks away is Our Lady of Guadalupe, a church that people around the community attend. Also, in front of me is Belvedere Middle School, which was born a few years after me in 1923.
The best part of everything is that students, kids, and parents get to visit me every day and are able to check out books and movies, get help from the librarian, and spend time doing homework. Every Wednesday there is a show anyone can attend, and at the end, anyone who participates wins a prize. I’m covered with two types of colors–green and white. I am the only library called “Anthony Quinn Library” in East Los Angeles. In the middle of September, the people gather around Cesar E. Chavez to enjoy a parade for Mexican Independence Day.
If I ever disappeared I believe people wouldn’t be happy. I bring a lot of joy and memories to kids who admire me and like to visit me every day. A lot of people recognize me for special events I host. Something I admire is how I see kids grow up and become something special in life. Years after, I will get to see those little kids again, but they won’t be alone. I will get to see them with their new families and let me tell you, that’s a great feeling that nothing can top.