Astor Library

425 Lafayette St.
New York
NY 10003

Astor Library

LandmarkCultural SiteCultural PerformancePublic LibrarySocial ServiceHistorical FeatureSpecial SiteRefugee Area

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The Astor Library was a free public library developed primarily through the collaboration of New York merchant John Jacob Astor and New England educator and bibliographer Joseph Cogswell. It was primarily meant as a research library, and its books didn't circulate. It opened to the public in 1854, and in 1895 consolidated with the Lenox Library and the Tilden Foundation to become the New York Public Library (NYPL). During this time, its building was expanded twice, in 1859 and 1881.
The NYPL abandoned the building in 1911, and the books were moved to the NYPL's newly constructed building by Bryant Park. In 1920, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society purchased it. By 1965 it was in disuse and faced demolition. The Public Theater (then the New York Shakespeare Festival) persuaded the city to purchase it for use as a theater. It was converted for theater use by Giorgio Cavaglieri. The building is a New York City Landmark, designated in 1965.[10]

(Source:www.wikipedia.org/astor_library)

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