New York Public Library, Tottenville Branch
7430 Amboy Road,
Staten Island, NY 10307
Block: 7899 Lot: 9
Lot Area: 13,361 sq ft (95′ x 137′)
Number of floors: 1
Building Area: 1,700 sq ft (81’ x21’)
Designed by Carrere & Hastings, architects. Built by E.E. Paul Company.
Late 19th & 20th Century Revivals
Walls: Brick, Stone
Roof: Wood frame, Shingle roof with deep eaves
Other: Wood frieze and pediment at entrance, Round-arched windows
The Tottenville library is located on the south side of Amboy Road between Brighton Avenue and Yetman Avenue. The building size is 81ft x 21ft and the building is set far back from the street on the southern portion of the site.
Built in 1903-1904, the Tottenville Branch of New York Public Library is the oldest public library in Staten Island and it was the first Carnegie branch on Staten Island. The library building was designed by Carrere & Hastings. The builder, the E.E. Paul Company, built the Stapleton, Tottenville, and Port Richmond branches. The building design is inspired by classical architecture as seen in its symmetrical layout, entrance portico and Tuscan columns, and arched windows, yet its hipped shingle roof creates a subtle rustic quality in keeping with the character of Tottenville.
The Tottenville Branch is a New York City Individual Landmark and continues to operate as a branch of The New York Public Library. The building was restored in 1991-1993 by architect John Ellis.
Construction and Layout:
The building is composed of one tall story rectangular shape on a raised basement. The exterior envelope is constructed of brick and stone, and the hipped roof is constructed of a heavy timber wood frame covered with shingle roofing. The building plan is a typical symmetrical layout with a central entrance leading to a room containing the librarians’ station, which was flanked on two sides by reading rooms.
The main North façade is composed of the symmetrical Classical Revival style. The building is one story tall and five bays wide with a projecting center entrance. The facade walls consist of Flemish bond red brick with quoined limestone trims, which encase the arched windows at the both wings. The full-height center shallow entrance wing is articulated with wood Tuscan columns flanked with brick piers, which support a full wood pediment and decorative frieze. The painted wood pediment is trimmed with wood cornice and modillions at all three sides. The painted wood frieze is divided into eight simple raised “X”s and the architrave below contains the words “NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY.” A flagpole is anchored at the center of the frieze.
All five fenestrations at the North elevation have classical three-pane round arched form. The center entrance arched window is located above the entrance door, which has five-pane transom above. In the four windows in the wings, round arched windows top three-pane rectangular windows.
The building is topped with a flared hipped roof, which is running parallel to the street. The deep eaves are terminated with the simple wooden gutter that has simple wood brackets. The roof is currently covered with asphalt shingle roofing.
During the early 1990s, alterations were made for the accessibility. The front walkway and the staircase were replaced by the current platform, staircase and access ramps leading down to the concrete driveway.
The interior ceiling features an exposed heavy timber wood trusses and beams, which is a popular detail in Staten Island’s Carnegies. The lighting fixtures are suspended from the wood trusses. All windows were surrounded with molded wood trims and wood sills.