Library Exhibit Room
Using photographs of one of the reading rooms formerly located in the apse, the room in the northwest corner of the building’s first floor, which had been one of the State Controller’s offices, was adapted to serve as a representation of the Library. While museum staff has removed most of the items to accommodate rotating exhibits, visitors can see remnants of bookcases and a narrow wooden mezzanine walkway in the exhibit room.
The California State Library was once housed in a portion of the State Capitol called the apse. In 1928, the State Library and the California State Supreme Court moved from the apse to a more modern building constructed on a plot of land located across the street from the Capitol.
In 1949, workers demolished the apse to make way for the East Annex, a massive six-story addition grafted to the east side of the Capitol. The apse, long considered one of the most distinctive portions of the Capitol, could not be replaced during the 1970s restoration.
Recognizing the importance of the State Library to the Capitol, especially to the era in which the building was restored, officials decided to reproduce a small part of the architectural feeling of the Library.