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Center for Brooklyn History


Why is this building significant?

The Brooklyn Public Library’s Center for Brooklyn History (formerly the Brooklyn Historical Society) is a grand Romanesque Revival building that brilliantly synthesizes elements of the Queen Anne style with Italian Renaissance detailing. The building’s masonry exterior incorporates decorative elements rendered in terra-cotta (the first to be manufactured locally) and busts of great men, including Benjamin Franklin. An innovative metal truss, inspired by the engineering of the nearby Brooklyn Bridge, which was still under construction at the time of the building’s completion, allows for a largely column-free library inside. The library’s soaring space, often used in movie shoots, incorporates delicately carved ash woodwork, stained glass, and hardware custom designed by the building’s architect, George B. Post.


What did the New York Landmarks Conservancy do?

We provided an emergency grant of $13,350 to finance the construction of a new drainage system needed to stop repeated flooding of the building’s basement.






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