3. The Restored Stained Glass Laylight

Laylight in the Center for Brooklyn History

The interior of the Center for Brooklyn History is decorated with as much ornamentation as the facade. Sparing no expense in the public-facing rooms of the Gilded Age building, there is stained-glass, trendy Minton tile floors, glass chandeliers, custom-made bronze hardware designed by Post, and elaborately carved woodwork. However, the fine features of interior design were paid little mind when they were in the way of an elevator installed right through the main staircase in the center of the lobby in the 1930s.

As a result, the beautiful laylight at the top of the stairs was removed. Luckily, it was restored and reinstalled in 2003. You get a great view of it standing in the middle of where the elevator used to be, on the ground floor, looking up through the stairwell. The stained glass is believed to have originated from the studio of noted artist and English glassmaker Charles Booth. Booth also created stained glass for the Jefferson Market Library and Grace Church on Broadway. There are also stained glass windows in the Othmer library that are attributed to Booth. Additional stained glass windows used to be in the Great Hall, as well as a stained glass screen at the rear of the stage in the lecture hall. You can see these features later on in this article in the historical images shared in secret #5!