Central Library first opened its doors to the public on February 1, 1941, which makes this year its 75th birthday. With its breathtaking façade, sweeping grand lobby and vast contemporary and historical collections, it has been a Brooklyn icon since its opening. The library was designated a New York City Landmark in 1997 and joined the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
At 352,000 square feet, with a circulation of more than 1.7 million materials and an annual door count of 1.3 million visits, Central is Brooklyn’s home library.
This free Obscura Day tour will explore Central from top to bottom, providing a new perspective on the building’s well-known public spaces as well as a look at behind-the-scenes areas rarely, if ever, open to the public. Visitors will see the elegant wood-paneled trustees’ room with its unique view of Grand Army Plaza, the little-seen “treasure room” and vault, the special collections “morgue” and more. Longtime library patrons and first-time visitors alike will enjoy this new look at one of New York City’s foremost cultural, civic and educational institutions.