NYC: Brooklyn Public Library - Central Library
The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is the fifth largest public library system in the United States. The main branch, the Central Library, is located next to Prospect Park, just off Grand Army Plaza, where Eastern Parkway and Flatbush Avenue intersect. Each year, more than 1.5 million people use the central library, which contains more than 1.5 million books, magazines, and multimedia materials.
The site for the Central Library was chosen in 1905 to replace the small outmoded structure on Montague Street. Foundations, however, were not laid until 1914 and construction dragged until 1937. Finally opened on February 1, 1941, the $5 million neoclassic building, designed by Alfred Morton Githens and Francis Keally, resembles an open book, with the spine at the main entrance on the plaza, and the two wings running along the avenues. The stair terrace and concave entrance, adorned with impressive Art Deco reliefs by Thomas Hudson Jones and C. Paul Jennewin, were designed to reflect the ellipitcal configuration of the plaza.
The Central Library was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1997.
National Register #01001446