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History of the St. George Library Center

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St. George, Exterior, Digital ID 1253111, New York Public LibraryPhoto dated 1915, showing the now gone entrance and stairway leading up from the bottom of Hyatt Street. To the right is the long since demolished Tiedeman mansion, currently the site of the St. George Theater.A brief history of the St. George Library Center from pamphlet "St. George Library Center," 6/89:

"Ferry service between the Battery and Staten Island began in 1886. Soon afterward, a town developed around the ferry landing and up the slopes of Fort Hill. In 1898, when Staten Island was consolidated with New York City, the borough administrative offices were moved to the growing St. George area from the county seat of Richmondtown. The Borough Hall was completed in 1906 and in the following year, the St. George Library opened. The largest library on Staten Island, the St. George Library Center was designed by Carrère and Hastings, architects of the neighboring Borough Hall and County Court House. In 1952, a new wing was added, doubling the size of the building.

A major renovation and expansion, completed in 1989, has restored the building to its original elegance, while introducing a computerized circulation system and a well-stocked Media Room. The new Main Reading Room features an impressive beamed ceiling of massive timbers, which were obscured for thirty years. Rising behind the oak circulation desk are stained-glass windows, created by New York artist David Wilson, which reveal a spectacular view of New York Harbor through the clear lower panes. The Reference Room, on the lower level, offers increased seating, improved facilities, and services for the serious reader seeking more in-depth information than is available in the neighborhood libraries."

In addition, a Teen Room opened a few years ago on the lower level, and the Children's Room received a substantial renovation earlier this year. Both are bright, roomy, and popular places.

The St. George Library Center serves a vibrant, diverse population, and has been a center of not only the immediate community, but also the entire north shore, and points south, of Staten Island for over 100 years. To read more about the town, a great book is St. George by David Goldfarb.

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