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Brower Park Library - Local History & Photos
Brower Park was the first branch added to the northern half of Brooklyn in forty years. Built on the Beame plan and opened on July 30, 1963, it contains a large open space of 7,000-sq.ft. stocked with 23,000 books. Brower Park Library is named after George V. Brower who was Brooklyn Park Commissioner for many years from 1889, as well as Chairman of the Brooklyn Tree Planting and Fountain Society. Brower died at the age of 81 in 1921.
On July 29, 1963 a dedication ceremony was held for the opening of the branch, which is situated in the Crown Heights neighborhood. Mrs. Jeanne James, President of the Brooklyn Library Council, called the new branch a dream come true and Abe Stark, then Borough President, called it a definite example of what community cooperation can accomplish.
After a fire in 1988, the branch closed for complete renovation in July 1989. The building reopened in 1990 with a new roof, interior finishes, windows, doors, lighting, and air-conditioning. Through its information resources and innovative programming, the Brower Park Branch continues to show its commitment to the community. In response, the Brower Park Friend's group has become one of the most visible and enthusiastic library advocacy groups in Brooklyn.
Most of the neighborhood is residential in zoning with the majority of the district comprised of one or two family homes and multiple apartment dwellings. Along Nostrand Avenue, there are some commercial establishments: supermarkets, delicatessens, pharmacies, liquor stores, and small business clothing stores. Other services in the area include the Marcus Garvey Nursing Home and the Brooklyn Children's Museum located at 145 Brooklyn Avenue.
Famous people, past and present, include George V. Brower, prominent Long Island philanthropist, Chairman of the executive committee of the Tree Planting and Fountain Society of Brooklyn in 1890; Shirley Chisholm, politician and activist; Thomas R. Jones, retired New York State Supreme Court Justice; Grace Edwards-Yearwood, acclaimed author of In the Shadow of the Peacock and If I should Die.