86-01 Broadway
1906 Lord & Hewlett

Between 1886 and 1919, steel manufacturing mogul Andrew Carnegie donated more than $40 million to build over 1,500 new library buildings in communities large and small across America. In New York City, Carnegie libraries were located in the less densely populated areas of The Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens, and were most often freestanding structures within a larger lot. They frequently featured brick walls with limestone ornamentation, and typically had a symmetrical layout, large windows to allow an abundance of light into the reading rooms, and a prominent, decorative entrance.


In Queens, the Queensborough Public Library applied in 1901 for five sites, one of which was for Elmhurst. Cord Meyer offered a free site in his new development, but the library trustees lobbied for the purchase of a more central location. Construction finally began in 1904, with architectural firm Lord & Hewlett in charge of the design. It opened to the public in 1906, and served as the Elmhurst Branch of the Queens Borough Public Library until its demolition in 2012.