Walt Whitman Library - Local History & Photos
The Walt Whitman Branch was first opened on December 18, 1900 in a storefront building at Nassau and Bridge Streets. It then moved to an improved location on the ground floor of a new tenement house on July 22, 1901 and even had a second entry dedicated to use by children. A quote from the Brooklyn Eagle of July 22, 1901 described the new storefront as located in the center of a thickly settled district possessing few advantages...in a new building in sunny spacious rooms. Instead of ordinary chairs and tables the oak furnishings in the children's room have been made to size for the boys and girls who use them.
The collection had a significant number of volumes on naval architecture and science since the branch was often used by the shipyard workers at the nearby Brooklyn Navy Yard. The small brick and limestone Carnegie building, originally called the City Park Branch, was opened on September 1, 1908 and served a diverse community. Nearby were the Navy Yard, Cumberland Hospital, Brooklyn Hospital, Brooklyn Technical High School, the Raymond Street Jail and Fort Green Houses which opened in the early forties. It closed for renovation in 1958 and reopened in 1960. During the city-wide fiscal crisis of the late sixties and early seventies, it served as a Reading Center. Today the branch provides a full range of programs and services to this vital community.
Located at 93 St. Edwards Street in the Fort Greene section. Fort Greene Park is one block away. The library is surrounded by public housing, such as the Raymond Ingesoll Houses and the Walt Whitman Houses.