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USA CSUF Henry Madden Library

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California State University, Fresno—founded 1911, current campus opened 1956—like many of the older CSU campuses, is not known for outstanding architecture. Fortunately, the newer buildings on campus are more attractive than the older buildings. The architectural showpiece at Fresno State is the Henry Madden Library. The south wing was completed in 1980, the year I graduated from Fresno State. The north wing and new entrance, which replaced the unattractive and poorly ventilated original library, was completed in 2009.

The striking entrance facade is based on elements derived from Native American basket weaving. The adjoining north wall is mostly glass and produces interesting vertical mirror images.

The university was officially designated as an arboretum in 1979. Around campus are more than 3,000 trees and extensive flower beds (best in the spring). There are many other attractive spots around campus, in between the mundane. :-)

Photography Tips

For photographing the library, use the kit and settings you prefer for architectural photography. A wide-angle to super-wide-angle lens works well for the entrance facade and the north wall. The best reflections off the north wall seem to occur at very shallow angles. A short- to medium-telephoto lens works well for isolating elements of the building.

For the flowers around campus, use a close-focusing or a macro lens. Fill flash is a pretty good substitute for a tripod.

Travel Information

California State University, Fresno, is located in northeast Fresno on the north side of Shaw Avenue between Cedar Avenue on the west and the State Route 168 freeway on the east. The 4th website below takes you to a map of the campus and provides links to downloadable maps in PDF format. These maps show where parking is available to the public. During the academic year, parking on campus is not free Monday through Friday. Details are provided in the 5th, 6th ,and 7th websites below.

For more information:,_Fresno
Spot Type Outdoor
Crowd Factor A decent amount of people
Best Timing Daytime
Sunrise & Sunset 05:50 - 20:19 | current local time: 11:11
Photo Themes Architecture Buildings

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Thank you Fred Lusk for creating this photo spot in USA.
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