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Pratt Digital Exhibits

A New Home for the Library

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By 1895, the library’s collection had grown to 61,000 volumes and the library services had outgrown their space at the Main building. A new building was commissioned by Pratt Institute to architect William B. Tubby, who had also designed several Pratt Family buildings.

The three-story brick building was designed in a Renaissance Revival style and features marble staircase and pillars. The interior was designed by Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company with bookstacks made of oak shelves and copper-plated iron supports over glass floors. In addition to Pratt Institute’s growing books and serials collections, the Library housed a museum and the School of Library Economy, now the School of Information and one of the country’s first library schools. The new library building is currently a New York City Landmark. Additional branches were built in Greenpoint and Boerum Hill.

Pratt Institute’s founder, Charles Pratt (1830-1891), died shortly after the found of the Institute. However, his legacy was continued by his family, including Charles Millard Pratt, who was his eldest son and Pratt Institute President from 1891 to 1923.

The floors of the book stacks were made by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company while the stacks are a design by Melville Dewey’s company Library Bureau, which include oak shelves and copper-plated iron supports. The room also featured a book elevator.

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