he temporary closing of the Carter G. Woodson Regional Library for exterior renovation affords the opportunity to visit other branches, namely the George Cleveland Hall Branch in Bronzeville. The library, named after a prominent African-American surgeon and great civic leader, is a landmark building opened under the direction of Vivian G. Harsh, the first African-American to head a branch of the Chicago Public Library.
Built in 1931, the Chicago Landmark plaque that adorns this architecturally significant edifice states that Ms. Harsh compiled an immense African-American research collection and initiated pioneering programs that promoted the work of Chicago Black Literary Renaissance writers like Gwendolyn Brooks and Richard Wright. The collection grew and was subsequently relocated to Woodson Library in 1975, where it is still housed today.
Carter G. Woodson (seated bottom left) next to Vivian G. Harsh and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.
The history is far too rich to capture in one writing but leading up to Woodson’s fall reopening, Endeleo is committed to seeing our library recognized as one of the premier cultural institutions in Chicago and we urge our community to embrace it as part of the catalytic development along the 95th Street Corridor. Rediscover Woodson and become part of the picture.