The Leonard Branch, one of the original buildings built through the Carnegie donation, was officially opened on December 1, 1908 at its current site at Devoe and Leonard Streets. The one -- story classically styled building, designed by William B, Tubby, has an elegantly designed interior of 10,000 square feet that originally featured molded skylights, wood paneling and wood -- trimmed windows.
The branch has undergone several architectural changes over the years. The first major renovation in the 1950's added a new roof and interior trim, but other significant repairs to the building's interior and exterior were also made during the 60's, 70's, and 80's. These changes replaced the exterior windows, modernized the interior and added new merchandising-style shelving. The original Carnegie plaque was also relocated to inside the building.
The Leonard Branch, located one block from busy Metropolitan Avenue, has always catered to a mostly Italian patronage. Today, the neighborhood also includes a large number of Eastern European, Irish, and Spanish-speaking people