A flamboyant Victorian Gothic structure designed by Calvert Vaux, the architect of the buildings and bridges of Central Park, this building stood empty and abandoned for twenty-two years before being converted into a branch of the New York Public Library in 1967. Its conversion was the result of a long battle by Greenwich Villagers, led by architectural activist Margot Gayle, to save the clocktower. Originally the Jefferson Market Courthouse, it stands on the site of one of the city's major food markets of the early nineteenth century. The courthouse itself also adjoined a large jail, which was replaced in 1931 by the massive Art Deco Women's House of Detention. The detention center was demolished in 1974 and replaced by a neighborhood garden called the Jefferson Market Greening.
Jefferson Market Library New York Photo Gallery
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