Tag Archives: national read across america day

The Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego

Today happens to be the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, more famously known simply as Dr. Seuss. In honor of Dr. Seuss, today is also National Read Across America Day, a reading initiative created by the National Education Association. Although Geisel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1904, he died right here in La Jolla in 1991.

La Jolla, California

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Geisel and his wife, Helen, moved to La Jolla shortly after World War II, and it was from La Jolla that he wrote his most popular works:

  • If I Ran the Zoo (1950)
  • Horton Hears a Who! (1955)
  • If I Ran the Circus (1956)
  • The Cat in the Hat (1957)
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957)
  • Green Eggs and Ham (1960)
  • One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1960)

Sadly, Geisel’s first wife, Helen, committed suicide on October 23, 1967, over her husband’s affair with Audrey Stone Dimond, whom he married on June 21, 1968. Geisel had no children with either of his two wives, but he and Audrey spent almost a quarter of a century contributing to literacy nationwide, as well as the programs of the library at the University of California San Diego.

Geisel died of throat cancer on September 24, 1991, and on December 1, 1995, the University of California San Diego renamed the University Library Building to the Geisel Library in honor of Audrey and Theodor Seuss Geisel. It ranks as one of the most unique buildings in San Diego. Here are some pictures that I took on March 2, 2011:

Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego

Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego

Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The library has thirteen floors of which only 12 are usable. Eight floors are in the skyscraper, two are underground, and there is no third floor if you’re in the elevator. The third floor is simply an emergency exit that allows people in the skyscraper to evacuate without having to go down through the subterranean floors.

Since it is a skyscraper, one would not think to go down in order to go up:

Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Parts of the library are actually underground. I didn’t realize it until I was leaving the library, but this part that I was walking on is the roof of part of the library:

Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The crooked wall you see at the right in the picture above looks like this:

Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego

Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego

All pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Interestingly, there was a Dr. Hans Seuss who also lived in La Jolla at the same time. Dr. Hans Seuss was an internationally renowned chemist and nuclear physicist, and a founding faculty member of the University of California San Diego in 1958. The United States Postal Service confused Dr. Hans Seuss and Theodor Seuss Geisel, regularly delivering to Dr. Hans Seuss mail that was addressed to Geisel’s Dr. Seuss.

The Dr. Seuss Collection, housed in the Geisel Library, is the world’s largest repository of Geisel’s original drawings, sketches, and manuscripts. Dr. Hans Seuss’s private collection is also housed in the Geisel Library, forever linking the two Seusses.

Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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