Brooklyn Historical SocietyPhoto via Wikipedia

The next destination of the Archtober, the third annual month-long festival of Architecture in New York, is Brooklyn! Located in the Brooklyn Heights, on the corner of Pierrepoint and Clinton Streets, is the Brooklyn Historical Society – a wonderful combination of a museum, library and educational center. Archtober will be celebrating the building’s 150th anniversary this year.

Brooklyn Historical Society

Photo via Downtown Brooklyn

Founded in 1863, BHS provides educational programs and exhibit tours to 70,000 students and teachers every year. It encourages the study of Brooklyn’s 400-year past, making students connect the past to their lives in the present.

Fun fact: one in seven Americans can trace their family roots to Brooklyn. Can you imagine that?

The museum has numerous individual family histories in its genealogy collection. Brooklyn Historical Society also houses the most comprehensive collection of Brooklyn’s related material in existence, including maps, atlases and newspapers. It was designated a “major research library” by the U.S. Department of Education, in 1993. BHS not only illuminates the past but also informs the future with its exhibitions each year. The buildings has also hosted other events such as weddings.

brooklyn historical society

Photo via NY Mag

The four-story building was designed by architect George B. Post. The building’s design uses terra-cotta ornamentation on its facade, and it was the first building in New York City to use locally produced terra-cotta. The building is adorned with heroic figures from history. In 1991, the building was recognized as a National Historic Landmark, and portions of it, including the library was designated as an Interior Landmark by the City of New York. Is interior was described as “one of New York’s greatest 19th-century interiors.” The building has undergone some extensive restorations throughout its 150 years, including a full-scale restoration from 1999 to 2003.

Check out our Archtober archive to see more notable works of architecture.

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