Briarcliff Manor Public Library, One Library Road, Briarcliff Manor, New York, 914-941-7072

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About the Library
Library History
Pictorial History of Briarcliff Manor Public Library (slideshow)

Railroad Timeline:
1909Walter W. Law, Village founder, built the railroad station as a gift to Briarcliff Manor. Built as a gabled station house, of English design, it sported oriental rugs on the floor and flowers on the tables in his time. He also gave the adjacent 6-acre Law Park to the Village of Briarcliff Manor.
1880-1958The 53 mile long Railroad track was in service for the Putnam Division of the New York Central Railroad. It was intended primarily for freight traffic to carry iron ore from Mahopac and Tilly Foster mines in Putnam County.
1890'sThe mines caved in during the 1890's, putting a halt to the need for iron ore transport, but passengers continued to use the line.
1928Passenger use dropped.
1970Trains ceased to run.
1981The Railroad bed was leased by the County from the Department of Transportation to use the right of way for recreational purposes. Route becomes the widely-used rail trail.
Library Timeline:
1914Briarcliff Community Club sponsors and houses Library in their headquarters.
1921Library registered with New York State
1928Community Club property sold to Parkway Commission (9A) and Library moves to Tower Room of Briarcliff Realty Building
1930Library moved to High School
1949Library moves to two rooms in the Village Recreation Bulding
1958Railroad Station is converted into Library which opens in January of 1959
Building Budget (1958):
$12,500 to purchase station
$2,000 to rebuild interior
$1,000 to paint and clean the outside timbers and stucco
$3,500 in additional funds to convert the baggage room into a meeting room
$14,000 raised by Villagers - balance funded by Library Board
(would have cost $100,000 to build a library building, which "would have been flimsy and modern instead of massive," according to the then Board President, Charles H. Schuman)
1959Absolute Charter granted from the New York State Board of Regents to the Briarcliff Manor Free Library
1964NYS Board of Regents granted charter as a Public Library
1980Mezzanine added for additional book stacks - cosmetic work done
1995Referendum for a 10,600 sq. ft. library failed by 13 votes; a total of 871 votes are cast
1997Interior renovations completed - painting, carpeting, new workstations, main desk, and incidental furnishings
1999Exterior renovations completed - new roof, chimney, exterior millwork, painting, cleaning of stucco, exterior lighting improvements.
2000Community based Planning Committee creates Long-Range Plan for the Library with chief goal to provide adequate space...
2001Westchester Library System Board unanimously votes final waiver as the Library has not filed a plan to meet NYS Standard #8 - that each library maintain a facility to meet community needs, including adequate space, lighting, shelving, seating and restroom.
2001Village Board considers schematic plan to expand Library at current site
2002The Project to convert the long-vacant Kings College property into "the Garlands," a Continuing Care Retirement Center, offers to "provide a donation of $2.25 million towards the construction of the library renovation and expansion."
2003Library and Village negotiate with New York State to keep Library from Registration review/Charter revocation, indicating that permanent expansion will take place either at current site or at Garland site. Library will provide modular space on present site as interim step toward remaining open.
2004Modular installed and opened as new Library Children's Room
2006Referendum Passed by 222 votes to spend up to $4 million to expand the library at its current site.
2007Groundbreaking for 6,600 sq. ft. New Addition to Building. Construction commences summer of 2007 and continues through 2008.
2009February 19, 2009 the New Addition opens with a Grand Opening Celebration on March 8, 2009. Planning for phase II; the renovation of the Library/railroad station building, in progress.(Library Expansion Information)


©Briarcliff Manor Public Library
This website was created by Amy B.G. Kaplan (

Last revised August 23, 2010