Completed in 1877, Jefferson Market served as a courthouse with an adjacent jail. (The infamous Women’s House of Detention, a separate structure, was next door.) By 1927, “Old Jeff” was no longer used for law enforcement. In the 1950s it was slated for demolition; in 1967 it was made over into a New York Public Library branch still heavily used today.
If it had been torn down, a white brick apartment building called the “Jefferson” would likely be standing in its place. But that didn’t happen, and in fact, renovations to preserve the Victorian Gothic gem are set for 2009. See an earlier post with a 1940 photo of Jefferson Market here.
The three-year-old owner of this temporary kid’s card, issued in 1974 (no barcodes back then!), did not know that the children’s room on the first floor had once been a police court.