6. Boerum Hill hosts Brooklyn’s oldest Carnegie library

Carnegie Library in Boerum Hill

At the intersection of Pacific Street and 4th Avenue on the eastern border of Boerum Hill is Brooklyn’s oldest Carnegie Library. The Pacific Branch was the first Carnegie Library to open in Brooklyn on October 8, 1904. It was designed by architect Raymond F. Almirall, a Beaux-Arts architect who designed Staten Island’s Seaview Hospital and Fordham Hospital. The library was praised for its classical design, although it underwent renovations in 1914 due to the construction of the BMT subway.

There were 21 Carnegie Libraries built in Brooklyn and 67 citywide, altogether built using a grant for $5,202,261. Carnegie Libraries were constructed using money donated by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, and there were 2,509 built worldwide between 1883 and 1929. The first Carnegie Library in New York City was built in Yorkville, Manhattan, in 1902.