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Aguilar Branch, New York Public Library

About this listing

Library named after a Sephardic Jewish author with a strong Spanish language collection

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : East Harlem
Institution, Education

Place Matters Profile

The Aguilar Branch Library is one of the oldest branch libraries in New York, founded in 1886 and named for Grace Aguilar, a Sephardic Jewish author. In 1905, when it became part of The New York Public Library system, Aguilar Library served large Jewish and Italian immigrant populations. After World War II, an influx of Puerto Rican and other Spanish-speaking newcomers led to the creation of an extensive collection of materials in Spanish. Designed by architects Herts and Tallant, Aguilar Library was built with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie. The interior of the building features a graceful hanging gallery with a cast-iron railing and a pressed-glass floor.

On The Web

Aguilar Library


Gene Sklar (East Harlem Historical Organization)

This was the fourth branch of the Aguilar Free Library Society, founded in 1886 for new immigrants and named in honor of a Sephardic Jewish writer. This is the only one of the branches to retain the Aguilar name when they became part of the citywide library system in 1903.

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