The Countee Cullen Branch opened on January 14, 1905, as the 135th Street Branch, in a building designed by McKim, Mead and White with funds given by Andrew Carnegie. (The original building is now part of The New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.) In 1941, having outgrown its quarters, the library moved to a new building at its present location designed by Louis Allen Abramson. Ten years later the library was renamed for poet and teacher Countee Cullen (1903-1946), an important figure of the Harlem Renaissance and the library's friend and neighbor. The library occupies the former site of the mansion of A'lelia Walker, daughter of the beauty products tycoon whose home became a gathering place for artists and writers during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s. The library was renovated in 1990 and is wheelchair accessible.
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