New York Public Library, Mulberry Street Branch

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New York Public Library, Mulberry Street Branch

Soho’s first-ever library started out as the Hawley & Hoops chocolate factory in the 1800s. Today, the building’s exposed brick walls, cast-iron columns and quirks like a mysterious vault door give the branch, which opened in 2007 after a three-year makeover, a strong sense of the neighborhood’s industrial history—and loads of cutting-edge design elements. In the children’s room, touches like subtle artificial lighting on the brick walls outside the windows keep the below-grade space from feeling in any way dungeony. The kids’ programming is also top-notch: In addition to after-school crafts and morning storytimes for babies (Tue 10:30, 11:30am) and toddlers (Thu 10:30am), the library hosts R.E.A.D. with Mudge—a program, named after Cynthia Rylant’s beloved Henry and Mudge books, where kids ages five and up read to a service dog.


Venue name: New York Public Library, Mulberry Street Branch
Address: 10 Jersey St
New York

Cross street: between Lafayette and Mulberry Sts
Opening hours: Mon, Wed noon–7pm; Tue, Thu 10am–6pm; Fri, Sat 10am–5pm
Transport: Subway: B, D, F, M to Broadway–Lafayette; N, R to Prince St; 6 to Bleecker St
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