New York Public Library, Tremont Branch – 1866 Washington Avenue
ITEM PROPOSED FOR PUBLIC HEARING
A two-story Neo-Federal Style library designed by Carrere & Hastings and built in 1905.
As the citywide advocate for New York’s architectural, historical and cultural neighborhoods, The Historic Districts Council supports the designation of the New York Public Library, Tremont Branch as an Individual New York City Landmark. This building, constructed in 1905 and designed by the architectural firm Carrère & Hastings, stands as a testament to the community and the history of the Bronx. Its designation as a landmark would not only honor its architectural significance but also preserve the cultural heritage it represents.
The Tremont Branch is one of 67 circulating libraries funded by Andrew Carnegie, and one of 14 Carnegie-funded libraries designed by Carrère & Hastings, who were also responsible for NYPL’s Central Branch at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan, recognized as both an Individual and Interior Landmark. Carrère & Hastings Neo-Federal style Tremont Branch, with classical revival influences, features a rural style distinct in its five original bays. The building is characterized by limestone trim, arched windows with keystones, and a robust cornice, presenting an elegant façade.
Beyond its architectural magnificence, the Tremont Branch has held a meaningful place in the local community for over a century. From its inception, it has adapted to the needs of a diverse and evolving population. Early on, it established reading clubs and provided educational programs, becoming a vital center for English learning for new immigrants. Its efforts in the 1950s to provide literature and programs on Jewish culture, and later on Spanish-language resources, reflect its commitment to serving the neighborhood’s multifaceted cultural and linguistic needs.
In light of its architectural merit and profound community impact, HDC urges LPC to designate the Tremont Branch of the New York Public Library as an Individual Landmark. Designating this building will not only preserve its physical structure but also honor its legacy as a symbol of learning, culture, and community support in the Bronx.