Day 516

The Children’s Portico

May 29th, 2013

This 1912 structure (more photos here), an "accurate translation of the 12th century Norman porch and staircase at King's School, Canterbury Cathedral", originally served as the entranceway to the children's reading room (the first library room for children in the US) at the Pratt Institute Free Library (the first free public library in Brooklyn). In 1982, Pratt was planning to tear down the portico to allow for an expansion of the library when — who else? — our new friend Scott Witter, a Pratt alumnus, stepped in and led a group of neighbors in relocating the 140-ton structure to a spot on the other side of campus. They had to do it all on a shoestring budget, and Scott sunk a fair amount of his own money into the project, because Pratt was only willing to pay them the $3000 it had budgeted for demolition.

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