5. The Jefferson Market Library in Greenwich Village Housed a Women’s Prison
The Jefferson Market Library in Greenwich Village was originally built as the Third Judicial District Courthouse, designed by architect Frederick Clarke Withers of Vaux and Withers. The courthouse was equipped with a market and its own prison, which was originally a coed institution. Historically, the courthouse was used to hear trials concerning women, including in 1909 when members of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company were tried in night court to deter female workers from striking. In 1927, the court was reserved solely for women’s trials. By 1929, both the market and coed prison were torn down, and were replaced by the Women’s House of Detention. In 1945, the building was no longer used as a courthouse, and the prison was decommissioned in 1973, subsequently replaced by a community garden.
Today, the Jefferson Market Library is one of the historic places you can legally climb up in NYC.