Location: La Jolla (12 Miles / 20 Minutes North of Downtown San Diego)
Hours: 10AM – 5:30PM Tuesday through Saturday (8:30PM on Wednesdays)
Features: One of Sixteen Historic Music and Arts Libraries in the United States; Art Exhibitions and Lectures; Jazz & Classical Music Concerts
Highlights for the Athenaeum in La Jolla: Have you ever heard of an Athenaeum? Probably not if you don’t happen to live near one of the few that exist around the country. They are named after the Greek Goddess Athena, who represented wisdom and the arts. The Athenaeum, located in the Village of La Jolla, is a library exclusively focused on music and the arts. Established in 1899, the Athenaeum offers year-round events and programs, including art exhibitions, concerts (chamber, jazz and new music), and lectures in addition to providing the public access to its collections.
Only 16 historic libraries, all founded prior to the 20th century, still exist today. They were started in an era before the establishment of tax-funded libraries. La Jolla’s Anthenaeum is one of only two west of the Mississippi River. (See the full list of historic libraries.)
What to Expect
- Guided Tours take place the third Saturday of every month at 11AM.
- Over 14,000 books on art and music
- Several thousand CDs, Cassettes, LPs, Videos, and DVDs of and about music and art.
- Complete Collection of works from Johann Sebastian Bach
- Periodicals about music dating back to the 19th century.
Athenaeum Events – The library hosts art exhibitions, lectures, and musical events throughout the year. Most are free, including 1-hour mini-concerts, which take place every other Monday at noon. The Art and Wine lectures and the Film and Wine lectures incur a small fee, as do some of the ensemble and quartet concerts. Visit the Athenaeum’s web site for a list of upcoming events.
Information on Visiting the La Jolla Athenaeum
Directions from Google Maps to 1008 Wall Street in La Jolla, CA 92037.
Traffic – Torrey Pines Road is the main route providing access to the Village of La Jolla. Traffic is slow leaving La Jolla on Torrey Pines Road during the middle and late afternoon hours on weekdays. Fortunately, you have a great view down to La Jolla Shores while you wait in traffic that may delay you up to 10 minutes. Otherwise, getting in and out of La Jolla is relatively easy. Local streets can be used to reach Pacific Beach to the south. (Learn how to get the latest traffic updates.)
Parking – Street parking is free but there is typically a 2 hour limit or less. You should not have much trouble finding parking spots near the Athenaeum.
Transit – Buses do serve the Village of La Jolla. (See San Diego Transit Information for bus schedules and information for the online Transit Planner.)