Like the neighborhood park, the Hamilton Fish Park branch of the New York Public Library is named for the distinguished American statesman Hamilton Fish (1808–93), who was not only governor of New York but secretary of state under Ulysses S. Grant.
The original branch was built with funds provided by Andrew Carnegie and designed by Carrère & Hastings, the architechts behind the Stephen A. Schwarzman building in Manhattan. In characteristic Beaux-Arts building opened in 1909 but was later demolished when FDR Drive was built and Houston Street was widened. It has since been replaced by a public housing project.
The current building with its cheeful red doors opened at 415 E. Houston Street in 1960. It has book collections, a multiuse room that seats 75 and is available for community events, a gallery space that features rotating art exhibits, and librarian-led events that cater to toddlers, schoolchildren, teens, and adults.