"The atmosphere in which literature and knowledge are dispensed is part of a cultural package. Today it is the fashion to offer a kind of statistical, book-counting culture in visually illiterate surroundings. At Old Jeff there is also the literature of architecture: cut stone faces and flowers, spiral stairs, soaring stained glass windows, the feeling, form and sensibility of another age. This, too, is the record of civilization." -- Ada Louise Huxtable, Architecture critic. The New York Times November 28, 1967.
Originally a courthouse, the Jefferson Market Library has served the Greenwich Village community for over forty years. The building, a New York City landmark, was designed by architects Frederick Clark Withers and Calvert Vaux (who also assisted in the design of Central Park) in a Victorian Gothic style. It was erected (along with an adjacent prison and market) during the years 1875-1877 and cost the city almost $360,000.