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  • Susan Stoderl

Shh! Secrets Buildings Hold for Middle-Grade NYC Kids

From Sophia Meets Pedro, Prequel to Mission 1: All in a Day's Work

Chapter 6 Excerpt | Part 1 of 2

Jefferson Market Library
Reference Room Jefferson Market Library
Stained Glass Jefferson Market Library

As Mr. O’D, Sophia, and Pedro approached the library, Pedro was awestruck by the massive red brick Victorian Gothic structure. Pedro resembled a tourist standing in the middle of the sidewalk and gawking at the whimsical building.

“Man, this is cool. The stained-glass windows and spires make it look like a church.”

“That’s because, between 1875 and 1940, it was a courthouse housing a civil court and a police court. This building was next to a prison and a marketplace for various peddlers and vendors to sell their wares. What is now the basement Reference Room, originally was holding cells for those awaiting arraignment with the judge. The property is triangular, bordered by Sixth Avenue, Greenwich Avenue, and Tenth Street.” Mr. O’D stopped on the corner of 10th Street and Sixth Avenue. “This tower is over one hundred feet tall. The fenced-in balcony on the tower was where the firewatcher stood. When he spotted a fire, he rang the bell using a code that told the location of the fire and its severity.


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