Arlington Library - Local History & Photos
The first Arlington Branch, known as the East Branch, of the Brooklyn Public Library, was created in 1899 with the merger of a local circulating library and the East Free Library of the Public Library Association. The branch was in a rented room on Pennsylvania Library of the Avenue with a collection of 750 volumes. A children's room was added in 1902.
The Library moved to its present-day building, a graceful two-story classical revival structure built as part of a $1.6 million gift from steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. When it opened in November 7, 1906, it was hailed by the New York World as the largest and finest of its kind. Handsome, with excellent proportions, and a unique split level layout, the spectacular 7,000 square foot interior is almost entirely intact and remains one of the best preserved Carnegie Libraries in New York City. The large, two-story central room is flanked by graceful wooden stairs leading to the reading rooms. The natural oak trim is unchanged, as are the paneled columns, inglenook, circulation desk and decorative railing at the mezzanine.
In the early part of the century the Arlington Branch served a primarily German and Italian community. Today the community is largely Latino, with residents from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and throughout Latin America and also African-American.
P.S. 65, at 158 Richmond Street, AND built in 1870 in the Romanesque Revival style, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a New York City landmark.