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Aguilar Branch, New York Public Library

Virginia Parkhouse
Virginia Parkhouse
Library named after a Sephardic Jewish author with a strong Spanish language collection
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Place Matters Profile

The Aguilar Branch Library is one of the oldest branch libraries in New York, founded in 1886 and named for Grace Aguilar, a Sephardic Jewish author. In 1905, when it became part of The New York Public Library system, Aguilar Library served large Jewish and Italian immigrant populations. After World War II, an influx of Puerto Rican and other Spanish-speaking newcomers led to the creation of an extensive collection of materials in Spanish. Designed by architects Herts and Tallant, Aguilar Library was built with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie. The interior of the building features a graceful hanging gallery with a cast-iron railing and a pressed-glass floor.

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