New Brunswick Free Public Library

New Brunswick Free Public Library

The New Brunswick Free Public Library began in 1796 as the Union Library Company. The Union Library Company began with a collection of 16 books and charged $5.00 for a share in the Library. The library in its present form was incorporated in 1890. The current neoclassical building at 60 Livingston Avenue was designed by New Brunswick architect George K. Parsell. It opened on November 16, 1903, with Cornelia A. See as librarian and fourth other staff members. The Library is a large, stone structure built in the Neoclassical style. The façade includes a triangular pediment supported by four Ionic columns. The style incorporates elements from ancient Greek and Roman architecture. The Neoclassical style was especially popular for educational and civic buildings as the ancient Greeks and later the Romans were thought to espouse these ideals. The Library is one 19 extant libraries of the 36 Carnegie libraries that were built in New Jersey. Each of these, along with over 2,500 others worldwide, was built with donations from noted Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). Since 1903, the Library has undergone some expansions. Its website is an excellent research tool to residents of New Brunswick and beyond as it features a wealth of local genealogy and history information.


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Middlesex County Historic Properties

Middlesex County Historic Districts