Flatbush Library - Local History & Photos
The roots of the Flatbush Branch lie in the Flatbush Free Library which opened in 1899 in a small cottage at 5 Caton Avenue. The collection numbered 3,000 books, all contributed by local residents. In 1900, the small library joined the Brooklyn Public Library system, and moved, a year later, to larger quarters at 824 Flatbush Avenue. Even then, the Flatbush branch was a busy place, serving a population of 20,000 and circulating over 68,000 books a year.
In 1905 the branch moved to its present home on Linden Boulevard, the sixth library in Brooklyn built with funds from Andrew Carnegie. The original Carnegie structure, designed by R.L. Daus, had a barrel- height atrium vaulted double and lateral reading rooms, both lit by skylights. The Flatbush Branch always served a diverse and book-hungry public.
The original building has been altered many times over the years. It was substantially enlarged and redesigned in 1937 by the Brooklyn Public Works with W.P.A. funds. At that time, the east and west wings were created, the vestibule was added, and a new facade in the moderne style was created.
The Flatbush branch today continues to serve a diverse public. The community is well known as a center for West Indian culture and life. In addition, the neighborhood is home to Asians, Central Americans and a large African-American population.
Famous Landmarks: The Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church; The Flatbush Town Hall (1875) at 35 Snyder Ave; 40- Acre Prospect Park.