William Wilson WursterAmerican (Stockton, California, 1895 - 1973, Berkeley, California)
A Public Library
Wurster designed this public library as a student project during his last year of undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
The ink-wash rendering is one of the most formal and elaborate designs of Wurster's career (he later admitted that he had little talent for drawing). It reflects a Beaux-Arts tradition that is dramatically different from his subsequent house designs. The Beaux-Arts style, which flourished between 1885 and 1920 and was especially favored for grand public buildings, combined elements of classical Greek and Roman architecture with elaborate detailing, massive plans, and heavy masonry.