Originally built as the Third Judicial District Courthouse in 1876, this Victorian Gothic church-like building has been saved from demolition twice, thanks to the efforts of the local community: once in 1945, when it ceased to be used as a courthouse and a group of local community preservationists campaigned to have it converted into a library, instead of knocking it down. Their campaign proved successful when – after extensive restoration – it opened as a branch of the New York Public Library in 1967. Budget cuts in 1974 obliged the Board of Trustees of the Library to vote in favour of closing the branch. The decision was rescinded one month later, following outcry of the local community and its function and public character were saved a second time.
Thanks to the local residents we can still enjoy these beautiful stained glass windows by English glass artist, Charles Booth (1844-1893), who also created the stained glass for nearby Grace Church at Broadway and 10th Street. Jefferson Market Library
April 2nd, 2017