Photograph 55
One of Buffalo's most distinguished buildings of the past is shown in this photograph of the Buffalo Public Library - 1888.

The Buffalo Library was incorporated in 1836, and maintained itself as a "subscription" library until 1897, when, through an agreement with the City of Buffalo, it became the Buffalo Public Library. Located on Lafayette Square, the Library allowed residents of Buffalo to borrow books, free of charge. The demand for the "home use of books" was so great that by 1932 14 branch libraries had been created.

This building was constructed in 1887 and housed general reading rooms, a Children's Department, Open Shelf Rooms, Circulating and Reference Departments, and a school department for grade school children.

The Buffalo Public Library building was in use until around the early 1960's when it was torn down and replaced with the modern structure currently used by the Central Branch of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library.

The picture to the left shows a good representation of the location of the library in relation to Lafayette Square. The shot was taken around the time when demolition would soon begin. Perish the thought that the City of Buffalo should attempt to find a use for one of its architectural treasures. At least the land wasn't turned into a parking lot.