Two Carnegie Libraries in the Bronx Designated
April 14th, 2009, 6:01 pm
The Landmarks Preservation Commission today designated two new landmarks in the Bronx and added two other items to the “calendar” – which is the first step in the designation process. The city’s newest landmarks, the Hunts Point and Woodstock branches of the New York Public Library, are both Carnegie libraries, located in the Bronx. The items that were calendared are a proposed Ridgewood South Historic District in Queens and a private residence in Staten Island. The two landmarked libraries were created using the famous 1901 grant from Andrew Carnegie. The grant was intended for the design and construction of new library buildings, allowing the New York Public Library to create 39 neighborhood branches. The Woodstock branch was completed in 1914 and was designed by McKim, Mead & White in the Classical Revival style. The later Hunts Point library was conceived by Carrère and Hastings, in the Renaissance Revival style, and built in 1929. In keeping with the philanthropic intent of Carnegie, the neighborhood branches became important educational resources to the burgeoning immigrant population of early 20th century New York. Beautifully designed, by top architects of the time, to this day these libraries are often some of the most refined and distinguished buildings in a neighborhood. The proposed Ridgewood South Historic District is located within a few blocks of the proposed Ridgewood North Historic District in Queens. Developed in 1911-1912, the district contains a dense concentration of “Mathews Model Flats” and like its neighbor to the north, reflects a breakthrough in tenement house design. Finally, a single-family home, designed in the Shingle style, and located at 327 Westervelt Avenue in Staten Island, will be considered for future designation.