Geisel Library, UCSD
This iconic university library is perhaps the most admired example of the oft-maligned Brutalist style of architecture. The library was constructed in 1970 and renamed in honor of Theodor and Audrey Geisel. Audrey Geisel donated over $20 million to support efforts to expand the library in 1995. This donation was in addition to a previous multi-million dollar collection of original works by her husband, who is best-known by his pen name "Dr. Seuss." Theodor Geisel remains one of the best-selling and most beloved author of children's books.
Backstory and Context
Construction of the central tower began in 1968 and the library opened in 1970. Audrey Geisel donated $20 million to expand the existing UCSD library and in return, the library was named in honor of her late husband. The library holds seven million volumes and the archives of the university. The Special Collections departments hold many one-of-a-kind items related to the history of San Diego and Southern California, as well as the Dr. Seuss Colleciton.
In a former observation tower at the top of Mount Soledad, Geisel wrote more than 40 children's books and became the best-selling children's author in the United States. The Geisel home overlooks the Pacific Ocean and the area's striking landscape is believed to have influenced many of Geisel's illustrations. The Geisel home is not currently available for tours, but it is possible to catch of a glimpse of the author's hilltop retreat by following a winding road to the top of Mount Soledad.
Nel, Philip. Dr. Seuss: American Icon. New York: Continuum International Publishing, Inc., 2004.