Pennsylvania Avenue Branch

History of the Pennsylvania Avenue Branch


A new Branch 17 at Pennsylvania and North Avenues opened to the public on January 15, 1953. Designed by architects Smith and Veale, the Pennsylvania Avenue branch has been highlighted in many architectural magazines for its use of natural light. Joseph Wheeler, former Pratt director, was present at the opening ceremonies and called the building "...the finest public library (branch) in the country."

The Pennsylvania Avenue Branch replaced the original Branch 17, the Easterwood Park Branch, which operated from June 26, 1914 to 1953. The Pratt Library remodeled the Pennsylvania Avenue Branch in 1983 and opened the system's first computer center there. In the first year, more than 500 adults completed computer education courses at the center.