Greenpoint Library - Local History & Photos

All Brooklyn Public Library locations will be closed Monday, October 12, 2015 for Columbus Day.

Exterior view, Spring 2008Exterior View, May 2000 Polish Language Book Area, May 2000 Greenpoint Exterior, c. 1904 Greenpoint Exterior, March 1951 Greenpoint Exterior, c. 1950s Children Outside Branch, July 1936 Mothers of Pre-School Program Re-opening, 1973
Branch History

The original Greenpoint Branch, opened in 1906, was one of the first Carnegie Libraries to be constructed in the rapidly expanding Brooklyn Public Library system. Designed by architect R. L. Daus, the building occupied a corner lot at 107 Norman Avenue. The Greenpoint Star praised the library for its elegant simplicity, its golden oak woodwork and fine brasswork, and the Brooklyn Eagle noted reading rooms that were tastefully decorated with potted palms.

By the 1930s excessive dampness and subsidence were causing the building to deteriorate. In 1970 the Department of General Services decided it would be too costly to renovate the building and tore it down.

A new building on the site of the original Carnegie building opened on December 20, 1973. The Greenpoint Branch has always sought ways to serve the special surrounding community. In 1938, a citizenship branch helped immigrants secure naturalization. The first Mother and Child Preschool Group was started at this branch, and the entire Polish Collection of the Brooklyn Public Library system was brought together at the Greenpoint Branch in 1947. Today, the library's broad range of information resources and programming, continue the long tradition of service to this vibrant and distinctive community.

Famous Facts

Greenpoint is where the ironclad Civil War battleship Monitor was built. In the last century, it was famous for foreign commerce and petroleum refining, printing, glassmaking, shipbuilding and ironworks. It has a small historic district containing some 19th century row houses. Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes lived in Greenpoint.