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Jefferson Market Branch Library

Map & Directions 425 Ave. of the Americas
New York, NY 10011
  • Mon, Wed 9am-8pm, Tue, Thu 10am-6pm, Fri-Sat 10am-5pm


Village Voice's Description

The building housing Greenwich Village's Jefferson Market Branch Library was voted one of the most beautiful buildings in America by a poll of architects in the 1880s. Not much has changed. A courthouse until 1945 that also served as a women's detention center in the '20s, it was restored and reopened as a library in the '60s, its clock tower bell the second largest in New York City, its beautiful gardens and medieval black wrought-iron fence donated by Brooke Astor. Inside, the library's reference room, located at the bottom of a spiral staircase, houses the invaluable Iconography of Manhattan Island, a book chronicling the history of Gotham from 1498 to 1909 by I.N. Phelps Stokes. The children's room, located on the first floor, is where you can put your name on the waiting list for the fourth Harry Potter tome and all of Phillip Pullman's books, while the adult and teenage reading rooms are located up the steps. The people who work here are very polite and helpful, and there is an atmosphere of calmness and peace.

Hours: Mon & Wed noon-8pm, Tue 10am-6pm, Thu noon-6pm, Fri 1pm-6pm, & Sat 10am-5pm

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Tips from foursquare

  • The Jefferson Market Library used to be a courthouse and the garden next door a jail.

  • PreservationNation on 04/26/12

    Initially a courthouse and then as a home for various city agencies, the Jefferson Market Branch of the New York Public Library has served the Greenwich Village community for more than forty years.

  • Jefferson Market Library, people love this place. #YouShouldVisit

  • Dora on 06/28/10

    The Children's Room is on the first floor of this landmark building, which was once a courthouse. And shhhhhhh… there’s a gorgeous community garden in the back.Powered by ParentsConnect.com

  • IWalked Audio Tours on 06/02/13

    Voted 1 of 5 most beautiful buildings in US 1885. Former site 3rd District Courthouse where actress Mae West was arraigned in 1927 for obscenity for the Broadway play Sex. Full site history vis

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