Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Library

Jefferson Market Courthouse Library might be my favorite library. The 1875 building is certainly one of my favorites. The Courthouse was built on the site of the Jefferson Market, an outdoor market.

I usually take photos of the other side that highlight the tower which was used as a fire watchtower in the early days. This side of the gothic building with the leafless trees is kind of creepy.

In 1896, author Stephen Crane (known for The Red Badge of Courage) testified on behalf of a woman he thought was unfairly arrested on charges of prostitution.

The Courthouse is also famous for the trial of Harry K. Thaw who shot and killed architect, Stanford White over Thaw's wife, Evelyn Nesbitt who had been known as the Girl in the Velvet Swing. The sensational trial in 1906 was later immortalized in E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime. (Thaw was declared insane and put away till 1915.)

When women picketing the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory were arrested, they were brought to this courthouse partly to intimidate them with close proximity to the ladies of the evening who were processed there.

In the '20's, the Courthouse became a women's court and a women's detention center was built next door.

In 1927, Mae West was arrested and charged with obscenity in regards to her Broadway play, "Sex". She spent a night in prison there, paid a $500 fine and then spent another 9 days in a workhouse.

How can you not love a library with history like that???

Morning temperature: 52 degrees

Steps: 9155

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