NYPL’s Ottendorfer Library opened in 1884 as NYC’s first free public library. The landmark library is one of the oldest in the system.
Designed by German-born architect William Schickel, this landmark building combines Queen Anne and neo-Italian Renaissance styles with an exterior ornamented by innovative terracotta putti. The Branch was a gift of Oswald Ottendorfer, owner of the New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung. At the time, the neighborhood was called Kleindeutschland (Little Germany) and had a population of over 150,000 people of German descent. Ottendorfer wished to provide this community with books to cultivate their minds and assist assimilation into American culture. … the branch continues to reflect its community and remains a vital educational and cultural resource for the East Village today.
NYPL on 4sq
(top photo via German Traces NYC)