Tottenville Branch, NYPL, Staten Island

7448 Brighton Street
re & Hastings, 1904

In 1899, the Tottenville Library Association established the Tottenville Free Library, Staten Island’s first free public library with a dedicated space and professional staff. In 1903, the association merged with the NYPL and its collection was moved to the new Carnegie-funded branch – also Staten Island’s first – completed the following year. Tottenville, which had grown immensely over the 19th century due to thriving coastal industries, was the first community city-wide to submit an application for a Carnegie-funded branch when the program was announced in 1901. The resulting one-story, brick structure is Classical Revival in style, with a central, columned entrance portico capped by a triangular pediment, as well as a flared, hipped roof and arched windows. The building’s stucco and wood trim lends a rustic quality that differs from some other Carnegie branches, but was intended to relate to its bucolic context and the village-like character of Tottenville. The Tottenville Branch was designated a New York City Individual Landmark in 1995.