Asbury Park Public Library
Backstory and Context
However a hidden gem left over from Asbury Park’s Victorian era is often overlooked. Asbury Park’s public library, designed in 1881 and completed by 1897, has served the community for over 137 years. Though time has changed its original façade, the library speaks volumes about Asbury’s 19th century founding and its development as the rich cultural center that it is today.
However, while the town's development as a destination spot progressed, so did its development as a year-round community. In the 1890s, a notable uptick in the construction of housing took place, many of which would be in the Victorian style and still stand today. In 1881, Bradley donated two plots of land on the corner of 1st and Grand Avenues to the Library Association, presided over by Bradley’s wife, Helen. He worked with a New York City architect to design a new building for use as an auditorium, museum, and library. On November 13th, 1897, the community voted on a referendum to organize a free public library, and the completion of the building’s construction soon followed.
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