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 throughout America. In New York City, Carnegie libraries were built citywide. In the less dense nieghborhoods in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens, the buildings were typically freestanding structures constructed on a large 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 Jr. offered a free site in his new development, but the library trustees lobbied for the purchase of a more central location. Construction 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.

Photo courtesy of Oldelmhurst