A Village kid’s library card

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.

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4 Responses to “A Village kid’s library card”

  1. colleen Says:

    Whoever this kid was, he had the same telephone exchange as Mr. Talamini in the June 8th post.

  2. Stained glass beauty at Jefferson Market Library « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] you gaze at the castle-like exterior, it’s hard to imagine that this 1870s Romanesque former courthouse-turned-library branch could be any lovelier in the […]

  3. The West Village courthouse inspired by a castle | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] It flirted with demolition in the 1950s before being recycled into a branch of the New York Public Library. […]

  4. Once an 1880s public library, now a private home in the West Village | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] branch. By the early 1960s, the library was “decommissioned,” per Village Preservation. The Jefferson Market Library on Sixth Avenue and 11th Street took over as the NYPL branch for Greenwich Village in the […]

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