Miller Branch Library

489 Bergen Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07305

201-547-4551
History:
The new building's dedication, at the branch's current location of 489 Bergen Avenue, occurred on Monday evening, June 26, 1922 amidst a formal presentation by Library Trustee Alvoni A. Allen, who also served as chairman of the building committee, of the building's acceptance, which was then received by Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague. New Jersey Governor Edward I. Edwards and Justice William H. Speer of the Hudson County Circuit Court each gave remarks, with Dickinson High School's orchestra and glee club in performance.

The dedication commemorative booklet described the Bergen Branch as "an immediate success and soon became the largest and most important branch of the Public Library. The rapid increase in readers and the steady growth of the book collection soon caused the rooms to become uncomfortably crowded. Early in 1920 the Library Trustees asked the Board of Commissioners of Jersey City to appropriate money for the purchase of a site and the erection of a suitable building. This request was immediately granted."

The branch's architectural design, typical of the day, is known as Renaissance, and was seen as a "plain substantial" design in the commemorative booklet, "built of granite and light brown brick, trimmed with granite finish terra cotta." Viewing the façade from the 1926 photograph would reveal carved flourishes, in clusters of three, in each corner underneath the cornice, with medallions over each of the six windows. The words "PUBLIC LIBRARY" and "JERSEY CITY" are on either side of the centered words, "BERGEN BRANCH." With two stories and a basement, including an auditorium and exhibition space, this 86 x 70-foot branch met the fireproof regulations of the day. Where there was wood, it was made of fine oak.
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