160 Years Ago Today: Astor Library Opens

January 9, 1854: The Astor Library opens on Lafayette Street. It was a free public library, funded by John Jacob Astor. It was also a noncirculating research library. In 1895, the Astor Library consolidated with two other libraries to become the New York Public Library. What remains of the Astor’s collection are now housed in the so-called “main branch” of the NYPL, on Fifth Avenue.

The Astor building fell into disrepair, but it still serves a culturally significant role in NY life: it’s now the home of the Public Theater.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s