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NYC - West Village: Jefferson Market Library | by wallyg
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NYC - West Village: Jefferson Market Library

The Jefferson Market Branch of the New York Public Library sits on a triangular plot formed by Greenwich Avenue and West 10th Street. The building was originally built as the Third Judicial District (Jefferson Market) Courthouse between the years 1874-1877 from a design by architects Frederick Clark Withers and Calvert Vaux.

 

The red brick structure is built in a collection of styles inspired by Ludwig II of Bavaria's castle, Neuschwanstein, with Leaded glass, steeply sloping roofs, gables, pinnacles, Venetian Gothic embellishments, and an intricate four-sided clock tower

 

The Jefferson Market Courthouse was used until 1945 and remained vacant and was slated for demolition, but local residents saved the richly decorated brick structure by persuading the city to reuse the building as a public library in 1967. The 1907 trial of millionaire Harry Thaw, was tried here for the murder of architect Stanford White, his wife's former lover. Sherlock Holmes did his research here in the film They Might Be Giants

 

A simple wood fire lookout tower was the first building on the site, built circa 1833, located in the center of the merchants sheds at the Jefferson Market. A courthouse later occupied the space, with an adjoining jail along 10th street. In 1877 the courthouse and its adjoining jail along 10th Street, were completed from Frederick Clarke Withers's designs. The old sheds of the Jefferson Market were replaced in 1883 by a dedicated building for the market, and in 1927 the market and jail were replaced by the New York Women's House of Detention. That building was demolished in 1974 and the lot now home to a community garden called the Jefferson Market Greening.

 

National Register #72000875 (1972)

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Taken on March 24, 2007