Fort Hamilton Library - History

Branch History

The origins of the Fort Hamilton Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library date back over a hundred years to the Fort Hamilton Free Library. This small collection which began with a capital of faith and five dollars, was provided for the community by Mrs. Gelston of Shore Road. In 1901 the Brooklyn Public Library adopted the Fort Hamilton collection, and soon plans were under way for a fine new building. Fort Hamilton was among the first communities to benefit from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie's $1.6 million gift to build branch libraries in Brooklyn.

Designed by architects Lord and Hewlett, the simple brick building features a limestone trim and a hipped roof with overhanging eaves, and windows placed high on the facade. Although the branch has undergone numerous renovations since its construction, some original features survive to the present.

Through its broad range of information resources, weekly programs and special events, the Brooklyn Public Library has carried the tradition of service to the Fort Hamilton community through to the twenty-first century.

Famous Facts

Fort Hamilton Army Base (named for Alexander Hamilton) is one of the oldest federal posts in the U.S. Confederate. General Robert E. Lee served as post engineer and Abner Doubleday (of Baseball fame) as post commander. The Verrazano Narrows Bridge is only a stone's throw from the branch.