East Broadway, across the street from the Chatham Sq. Branch, taken from the NYPL Digital Gallery
I spent an hour the other day showing a ten-year-old girl, one of our regulars, old photos of the library. She had asked me how old the library was, and didn't believe me when I said more than a century. She thought it should have fallen apart in that time. I've wasted a lot of my own time looking through those pictures, looking for traces of the old in what's still here. But it was really fun doing the same with a girl who has pretty strong negative opinions of anything she finds to be unmodern (including mountains, she hates the idea of them) and for her to really appreciate how long this building has been here and how long it's been serving recent immigrants and Chinese immigrants in particular.