Highlawn Library - Local History & Photos
The original Highlawn Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library opened in April 1949 in a small storefront building on W. 6th St, just north of Kings Highway and opposite the present Highlawn postal substation. The space was enlarged by the addition of the adjacent store in 1956, but this too proved inadequate for the demanding readers of the Bensonhurst neighborhood.
After many delays, on April 11, 1972 Borough President Sebastian Leone officially opened the new building. The design, created by architects De Sina and Pellegrino, represented a new departure in Brooklyn's library buildings. A circular main room, over eighty feet in diameter was carpeted in blue-green, with walls of glazed block in a variety of colors.
The Brooklyn Public Library continues to dedicate itself to providing for all ages and interests. Our books, reference services, videos, innovative weekly programming and special events serve young readers--and future leaders--as well as their parents and grandparents.
Traditionally this Bensonhurst neighborhood was a predominantly Italian and Jewish area. In recent years, in addition to these traditional groups, there has been a large influx of Russian and Chinese immigrants. There are also immigrants from the Eastern European and Middle Eastern countries as well as from Pakistan and Mexico. This is a residential area with private homes and small apartment buildings, small businesses, professional offices, community centers, religious institutions and many public and private schools. Not far from the branch is a larger shopping area on 86th Street.