The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library is located on Lafayette Square, Buffalo, New York. The current facility, designed by Kideney Architects and built in 1964, replaced the original Cyrus Eidlitz Buffalo Public Library Building dedicated in February 1887. The first Buffalo Public Library, in turn, replaced the Erie County, New York courthouse, which occupied the parcel from 1816-1876. Founded ca. 1835 as the Young Men's Association (not to be confused with YMCA), prominent members included Samuel Langhorne Clemens, who was the editor of the Buffalo Express from 1869-1871. The Young Men's Association was a private subscription library, meaning that paid membership was required in order to borrow books. In 1883, the Association began a fund-raising campaign for a new building and held an architectural competition, which culminated in Eidlitz's 1887 design. Upon completion, the Association turned over its collections to the citizens of Buffalo and the Buffalo Public Library was born, with no requirement for dues or membership. More information...

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