Forty-fourth library to open in Manhattan
The library is a fitting tribute to George Bruce, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland who immigrated to the United States in 1795 at the age of 15. Active in fostering the growth of science and industry in New York City, Bruce was awarded the first design patent for his type fonts, earning him recognition as the “father and chief of typography in America” and career renown as one of the most successful type designers of the nineteenth century. An inventor and businessman, he also wisely invested in real estate in New York City, investments that would make his family one of the City’s wealthiest.
The first George Bruce Library was located at 262 West 42nd Street. When the building was sold in 1915, his daughter Catherine used the proceeds to fund the building of the current library at 518 West 125th Street in the Manhattanville section of Harlem. It opened January 1888 and was the third branch in the New York Free Circulating Library and the forty-fourth library to open in Manhattan. The New York Free Circulating Library had been established in 1878 to provide education and self-help for the poor and it was supported by such wealthy citizens as Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan and Cornelius Vanderbilt.
The building was designed by Carrere & Hastings and is a prime example of Georgian Revival-style with its wonderful blend of brick and limestone. The striking ground floor entryway has an arched transom with gothic muntins and sidelights, flanked by historic copper lanterns with an ocular window above the entrance, a surround of bricks and a stone keystone. A stone frieze engraved with “NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY” with a denticulated stone molding topped by a molded cornice is surmounted by a stone cornice topped by a brick-and-stone paneled parapet. This building was designated a New York City landmark in 2009 by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Today the library has the reading hour, book groups, puppet shows, films, free internet and lectures for the community.
If you’ve worked up an appetite at the library satisfy those hunger pangs at Boca Chica Seafood Restaurant where their Dominican specialties from an extensive menu will delight you. Not in the mood for mostly seafood, stop in Jimbo’s Hamburger Palace, they have one of the best burgers in Harlem.
- More than 360 entries with over 2000 photographs
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Posted by Max on 13th Jan 2012
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Trip Advisor – http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d1977036-Reviews-Welcome_to_Harlem-New_York_City_New_York.html