Good news! Coney Island and Gerritsen Beach libraries will reopen this fall after extensive renovations due to Hurricane Sandy. See our Hurricane Sandy Renovations page for updates.
Kensington Library - Local History & Photos
In January, 1908, with the help of the Mother's Kindergarten Club of PS 134 and the Kensington Improvement League, the Library Extension department opened a deposit station in the rear of a store at 746 McDonald Avenue, with a collection of 400 books. These quarters quickly proved inadequate for the growing reading public. In September 1908 the collection moved to 108 Ditmas Ave., and the library was granted full branch status in 1910. By 1912 this building had become too small and the branch moved again to 771 McDonald Ave., where it remained for the next 48 years.
By 1930 the community had again outgrown the size of the branch. A small extension alleviated the problem somewhat. By 1960 the need for more space became imperative, and the Kensington Branch moved to its current location.
The building leased for library use had been known as the Manor and was used for weddings and other social occasions. The complete renovation carried out in 1960 aroused national media interest: Kensington was the first branch to have air-conditioning and the first to experiment in the children's room with furniture other than that designed specifically for libraries.
The need for more space and modern facilities lead to a new Brooklyn Public Library owned Kensington Branch to be commissioned for construction. The Branch opened November 2012, becoming Brooklyn Public Library’s second high-performance building to be constructed. The Branch was designed with a strong and welcoming Civic presence, and a visual transparency that compliments the great reading spaces within. The Art Commission of the City of New York heralded this project for its successful integration of green design with other human, urban, and architectural aspects. The building was made to be a delightful library for users while being environmentally effective.
Located in a residential area, the building is organized around the concept of daylight, with a central top-lit atrium, north-facing high-performance curtain wall, south-facing garden wall, and sidewall set-back for east exposure. The skylight and main North side glazing bathe the entire library with natural light throughout the daylight hours.
Today, through Kensington Branch's wide range of information resources, diverse material and special programs for all ages, the Brooklyn Public Library looks forward to serving the neighborhood for generations to come.
The original branch opened January 8, 1908. Second branch was opened on Ditmas Ave., April 5, 1960. Current branch was opened November 2012.