Walt Whitman Library - Local History & Photos

Welcome to Walt Whitman Branch, June 2000 Architectural Detail, June 2000 Patrons at the Circulation Desk Area, June 2000 Technology Available to Public, June 2000 Interior View, June 2000 Staff Picture, June 2000 Outside Garden, June 2000 Patron on Computer, June 2000 Exterior View (originally City Park Branch), 1908 Interior View, c.1910 Walt Whitman Branch, 1966 Walt Whitman Branch, c.1970 Architechtural Detail, May 1944 Storybook Reading, Children, c.1960
Branch History

The predecessor to Walt Whitman Library opened in a storefront on Nassau and Bridge streets in 1900. Eight years later, a beautiful new library, funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and built in the Classical Revival style, opened on St. Edwards Street in Fort Greene. When it opened, the branch boasted a substantial collection on naval architecture and science to serve workers at the nearby Brooklyn Navy Yard. Today, Walt Whitman Library serves the residents of numerous public housing complexes, including the Raymond Ingersoll Houses and the Walt Whitman Houses.

In addition to the Navy Yard, Walt Whitman staff and patrons are within walking distance of cultural venues like the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Barclay’s Center. Several parks are within a lunch break’s stroll, including Commodore Barry and Fort Greene. The Jay Street–MetroTech station, served by the A, C, F and R lines, is also nearby, but there’s little need to venture from a neighborhood that features such staff favorite dining options as Myrtle & Gold, Forno Rosso Pizzeria and Golden Fried Dumpling.

Walt Whitman library is a popular destination for young people, many of whom come to the library to do homework or simply blow off steam playing games. Story time sessions for youngsters are always well-attended.

Noteworthy people who grew up or lived near the branch include Richard Wright, Jhumpa Lahiri, Nelson George and, of course, Walt Whitman.

Did you know?

Walt Whitman Library was so named in 1943, to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the poet’s birth.