Lafayette Square - Table of Contents

 Central Library
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo NY
  Public Library - Official Website (online August 2015)

In 2015, the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (B&ECPL) consists of a Central Library, eight branches in the City of Buffalo and twenty-two contracting member libraries which operate twenty-eight facilities outside the City of Buffalo.

1816 Court House:

Old Court House   Site for the Central Buffalo and Erie County Public library

1871 Grosvenor Library:

Grosvenor Library

The Cyclorama Building

1887 Building:

1887 Buffalo Public Library Includes photograph

Chris Andrle, Buffalo Public Library Reprinted from ARTVOICE

1905 Buffalo of Today: Domestic and Industrial - Historic photo

Historic photo #1

Historic photo #2


1964 Building:


The Mark Twain Room

Tape Art: Piece - Buffalo Caverns

Spirit of  Buffalo mural

2022 Sculpture:

Spirit of Inspiration

See also:

B&ECPL History On Buffalo and Erie County Public Library website (Online August 2015)

Continuous public library service in Western New York began in 1836, when the Young Menís Association (YMA) was created to acquire books of permanent or lasting value for its members.

In 1886, YMA became the Buffalo Library and later, in 1897, it became the Buffalo Public Library

The Grosvenor Library, a second library, had been operating in Buffalo as a non-circulating public reference library since 1871.

A third library, the
Erie County Public Library, was created in 1947 to provide bookmobile service to rural towns and villages. In an effort to protect the two City libraries and provide improved library services for the entire region, the three library institutions were merged by New York State special legislation in 1953 to form the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library.

- Preservation Ready Survey of Buildings Downtown, Northland and Fougeron/Urban Survey Areas
Pages 4-28 (Online August 2014)

Located in the heart of downtown Buffalo, NY at Lafayette Square, the central library holds a wide collection of rare books and manuscripts, carefully assembled over decades through the generosity of area philanthropists, collectors, and library leaders.

1836 was the beginning of the continuous public library service established by the Young Menís Association. It wasnít till 1886 that it became the Buffalo Library, and later the Buffalo Public Library as the result of a contractual agreement with the city of Buffalo in 1897.

A second library, the Grosvenor Library, under the will of Seth Grosvenor, had been operating in Buffalo as a non-circulating public reference library since 1871. In 1947, a mobile book service to rural towns and villages became known as the Erie County Public Library.

During the early 1950ís the city of Buffalo experienced financial difficulties, making it problematic to maintain the three separate services, therefor creating a merger between all the libraries, paving the way for the new Buffalo & Erie County Public Library.

The design of the new library was carried out by Kideney Architects with construction managed by John W. Cowper CO. Construction of the new central library began in 1961 and was completed in 1964 and officially dedicated on October 18th of 1964. The location of the old public library in the center of the redeveloping downtown Buffalo, NY was the determining factor in the site selection. The block to the east was purchased and the construction took place in two phases, the first on the new land and the second on the old site with construction at first floor level spanning Ellicott Street.
- Joseph Tuberdyck, "Buffalo and Erie County Public Library."  DOCOMOMO, May 3, 2014 (online Nov. 2016)

Photos and their arrangement © 2010 Chuck LaChiusa
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