Macon Library - History

Branch History

Beautiful, historic Macon Library is one of the best preserved Carnegie branches in Brooklyn. Opened in 1907, the two-story, Classical Revival-style building retains its original fireplaces, oak paneling, alcoves and wooden benches, along with the warm charm that has welcomed patrons for more than 100 years.

While Macon offers programs and collections for Brooklynites of all ages, young people in particular turn to the branch to learn, to be entertained and to connect with their friends. The library’s most popular programs include Neighborhood Storytime and Teen Time. Another crowd-pleaser is Library Lanes, in which older adults gather for Xbox bowling contests—Team Macon and Team Central have waged a spirited competition this summer.

Macon Library is both a repository for the history of Bedford Stuyvesant and a showcase for Brooklyn’s African American heritage. Its surrounding neighborhood has contributed many towering figures to the fields of business, science, athletics and the arts: Earl Graves, CEO and publisher of Black Enterprise magazine, lived on Macon Street; F. W. Woolworth, founder of the Woolworth chain of department stores, lived at 209 Jefferson Street; comedian Chris Rock was raised on McDonough Street, the thoroughfare that was once home to barrier-breaking baseball legend Jackie Robinson; entrepreneurial musician Jay-Z was raised in the nearby Marcy Projects; and Dr. Susan McKinney Steward, the state’s first black physician, also resided in the neighborhood.

A landmark in the heart of a richly historic neighborhood, Macon Library is primed to continue serving patrons for many, many years to come.

Did you know?

Film aficionados may recognize street scenes from Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, filmed in Bedford Stuyvesant, not far from Macon Library.