Brooklyn Heights Library - History

The Brooklyn Heights community has a long history of support for civic libraries. The Mercantile Library Association of the City of Brooklyn established a library in this neighborhood in 1857. In 1903 the Montague Street Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library was founded.

In 1962, Brooklyn Heights Library moved to the current Cadman Plaza address. The original Cadman Plaza building housed a neighborhood branch, Business and Career Library and Federal fallout shelter. Six sculptural reliefs by Clemente Spampinato flanked the original entrance. Two of these reliefs remain at Brooklyn Heights Library in public meeting rooms, the other four will be displayed in Walt Whitman Library’s new garden space. In 2016, the Business and Career Library was moved to the Central Library at Grand Army Plaza.

In June 2022, BPL cut the ribbon on the new Brooklyn Heights Library. The new library has more space than any nieghborhood branch in Brooklyn and a bright, open design with flexible spaces for books, programs, and technology. The City-owned Library anchors a mixed-use building topped by market-rate condominiums. The Brooklyn Heights Library redevelopment project generated $40 million for repairs and construction at other branches in Brooklyn and created over 100 affordable housing units in Brooklyn’s Community Board 2.

Close to Downtown Brooklyn, commercial avenues and many government institutions, the branch serves a wide cross-section of individuals in addition to Brooklyn Heights residents. The community's tradition of supporting libraries continues with the work of the Friends of the Brooklyn Heights Library and many local neighborhood groups.