Red Hook Library - Local History & Photos

All Brooklyn Public Library locations will be closed for Labor Day weekend from Saturday, August 30 through Monday, September 1.

Welcome to Red Hook Branch, June 2000 Exterior View, June 2000 Patron at Computer, June 2000 Children's Book Carousel, June 2000 View from the Waterfront, June 2000 Van Brunt Street Artist Community, June 2000 View of Statue of Liberty from Red Hook's Waterfront, June 2000 Beard Street Old Warehouses, June 2000 Exterior of Original Branch, c.1915 Exterior Closeup, c.1915 Architectural Detail of Original Door, c.1915 Interior View, c.1915 Red Hook Garden Planning, 1996 Children's Reading Area, 1996
Branch History

The Red Hook Branch, which opened on April 22, 1915, was the only one of the Brooklyn Carnegie Libraries built in the Mediterranean Revival Style. The architect, Richard A. Walker accented the interior of the building with decorative wooden staircases leading up to the mezzanine level, pendant light fixtures and clerestory windows.

This architectural gem was forced to close in August of 1946 after having been extensively damaged by a fire the previous year. Sadly, the decision to demolish the unique and gracious building, rather than to restore it, was made soon thereafter.

The Red Hook branch moved into several other buildings over the next few years, but in 1958 settled for a while in rented quarters at 588 Clinton Street. In 1975, the library found its permanent home at 7 Wolcott Street. The March 20 opening of the new 7,500 square- foot one-story brick structure was hosted by then-Mayor Abraham Beame. The library is home to one site of the system's Kid's Connection program, which helps children increase reading, writing and computer literacy skills.

Famous Facts

Al Capone got his scar and nickname "scar face" in Red Hook. The Red hook docks offer the best view of Manhattan available in New York City. 

Important People from Red Hook Community: 
Ray Sharkey (Actor)
Ellen Cleghorne (Broadway actress)
Matty Rich (Movie director and film maker)
James McBride (Author of The Color of Water)
Richard Lewis (Author of Black Cop: The Real Deal)
Wilbert Williams, Jr. M.D. (Author of Dancing in Fire)