Jefferson Market Library

425 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10011

212-243-4334

History

The Jefferson Market Branch has served the Greenwich Village community for over thirty years. The building, a New York City landmark, was designed by architects Frederick Clark Withers and Calvert Vaux in a style which has been described as Venetian, Victorian, or Italianate Gothic and was erected during the years 1875-1876. It served as a courthouse from 1876 until 1945 and housed various city agencies from then until 1958. Community members, led by Margot Gayle and Philip Wittenberg, rallied to save the building from the wrecking ball. In 1961, Mayor Robert F. Wagner announced that it would be preserved and converted into a public library. The task of converting the old courthouse to a modern library was undertaken by architect Giorgio Cavaglieri. Construction began in 1965 and the library opened for business in 1967.

Fully accessible to persons who use wheelchairs, the branch offers services for adults, young adults, and children on three floors of the building. The Reference Room, which houses a special collection on New York and Greenwich Village history as well as a large general reference collection, is located in the brick arched basement. The children's room is located on the first floor and features an outstanding collection of picture books, fiction, and reference materials. Adult and young adult book collections are found on the second floor.

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