The Belmar Public Library was initiated by a group of women in the area who wanted to provide an outlet for nearby people to acquire information and meet for activities in 1911. The library moved locations twice before settling down in its space in 1914 on 10th avenue and E Street. It is known for its colonial architecture styled by Edward Tilton, and is one of the original Carnegie Libraries in New Jersey. Aside from drawing people in with its book collections and activities, the library is also a tourist attraction for Bruce Springsteen fans as it is located on the street associated with his band.
Public Library had to move locations numerous times to keep up with its growing
collection of books and the public who enjoyed utilizing its services. The building is significant for its architecture
that was designed by Edward Tilton, who also developed the layout for Ellis
Island. Its colonial style provides the
library with a distinguished exterior. This structure has been maintained since 1914 at the final spot chosen for the library.
Belmar Public Library is also notable for what took place inside of it. Carnegie Corporation, also started in 1911 by
Andrew Carnegie, functioned to “promote the advancement and diffusion of
knowledge and understanding.” This
corporation was impressed with the layout and operations of the library, and
decided to incorporate Belmar Public Library’s plans into the standards for
Carnegie Libraries. There are only 26
Carnegie Libraries in New Jersey of which Belmar’s is one of them—even receiving
a copy of a portrait of Andrew Carnegie in honor of the 100 years since his
birth in 1935.
Aside from this
recognition, the Belmar Public Library is also known for its location and
connection to Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Positioned on 10th Avenue and E
Street, the library has been gaining tourist attention due to its proximity to
the home of one of the E Street band members, David Sancious, and the
references to 10th Ave in song lyrics.
A mural for Springsteen was completed on Main
Street and 10th Avenue, and the Belmar Tourism Commission felt that
the library property would be another ideal spot to commemorate the local
group. With this, the Tourism Commission
funded the creation of a statue of Springsteen’s Fender Esquire guitar. Built of wood, and a steel and concrete base,
the guitar weighs 150 pounds and has become a prominent photo-op spot for
tourists in front of the library.
exciting events also take place inside the library. Offering child story time, art workshops, and
visiting authors, the Belmar Public Library provides the community with a space
to further one’s education and engage in fun activities. Not only are people able to access a wide
variety of reading materials and audio/visual files, but they can also be
involved in family activities and other programs to enhance their experience.