• Description

     The Ottendorfer Library was constructed at the height of the neighborhood’s German boom in 1884. At the time, the area was known as Klein Deutschland (Little Germany), given the large German population. The building was a gift from Oswald Ottendorfer, editor of a widely read German-American journal. Ottendorfer wanted to ensure new residents had access to educational resources during their assimilation into American society. The library became the first free library in New York City.  

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