Macomb’s Bridge Library

East Harlem, Manhattan

The Macomb’s Bridge branch of The New York Public Library opened in 1955, named for the nearby Macomb’s Dam Bridge, a historical landmark and fifth oldest bridge in New York City. The branch once held the distinction of being the system’s smallest location, operating out of a former studio apartment inside the Harlem River Houses. Small but mighty, the branch served patrons with collections and programs, and in 2020, received a brand new 3,500 square foot location. The beautiful branch offers several new amenities, including an adult reading room, a teen section, a children’s room with skylight, a community room for programs, computers, and wi-fi access. 

Join Library Manager Lucile Francois and Michielli+Wyetzner Architects on a tour of the new space, which was created utilizing seven separate and demised storefronts.  Learn about how the branch maximizes space and community partnerships to serve patrons, and how the design supports that work. 

The Harlem River Houses are notable as one of the first two housing projects in the city built with federal New Deal funds and intended to provide high-quality housing for African-American residents. Completed in 1937, the Houses are a New York City Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Notable architects, including Archibald Manning Brown, and Horace Ginsbern (who designed many garden apartments on the Grand Concourse), and artists, including Heinz Warneke and Richmond Barthé, worked on the Harlem River Houses’ design.

This experience is offered during OHNY Weekend as a part of Radical Knowledge: Libraries as Community Catalysts, an ongoing program examining how libraries serve as both vibrant learning institutions and centers for their communities, providing physical and virtual spaces to enrich civic life, expand economic opportunity, and improve the quality of place and quality of life for New Yorkers.




The health and safety of our community is paramount. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination with ID and a mask is required for ALL in-person experiences. See guidelines:

2633 Adam Clayton Powell Junior Boulevard
New York, NY 10039

directionsGet Directions