HoursMonday 11:00 AM -6:00 PM
Tuesday 12:00 PM -7:00 PM
Wednesday 11:00 AM -6:00 PM
Thursday 12:00 PM -7:00 PM
Friday 10:00 AM -5:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM -5:00 PM
Located in the East Village, the Ottendorfer Branch of the New York Public Library opened in 1884 as New York City’s first free public library. More information from the library website:
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. Half of the 8,000 original books were in German with the other half in English. In the same tradition, the branch continues to reflect its community and remains a vital educational and cultural resource for the East Village today.
The building, which is a designated New York City landmark, has been completely renovated through the Library’s Adopt-A-Branch program, through which private donors join public funders to restore branch libraries. While the original Ottendorfer Branch was designed as a bilingual library to serve the German community, the restored library can now better serve its multilingual community and provide an increased level of accessibility to all people. Highlights include restored, repointed, and cleaned façade, new elevator, new air-conditioning system, five new computer workstations, and new children’s floor with story hour room.