Phillis Wheatley Community Library to Celebrate 50 Years

Mayor Lovely A. Warren invites the community to attend an appreciation celebration honoring the Phillis Wheatley Community Library’s 50th year of service, 3–5 p.m., August 25 at 33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way. Festivities include African drumming performances and free ice cream and surprise giveaways (while supplies last).

“The Phillis Wheatley Community Library has proudly served generations of families,” said Mayor Warren. “We are excited to pay homage not only to the library’s namesake, Phillis Wheatley but also to the citizens who have patronized, and the staff who have worked at this beloved library.”

The Phillis Wheatley library was originally named the Genesee Branch of the Rochester Public Library in 1913 and was situated at 149 Cady St. The library was renamed in 1971, shortly after opening in the current building on Dr. Samuel McCree Way.

The library’s current name—in memory of Phillis Wheatley Peters (1753–1784), who was the first African-American author of a published book of poetry—was suggested by the Third Ward Urban Renewal Advisory Committee. Wheatley was one of the best-known poets in pre-19th century America.

The unique building was designed by Rochester architect James H. Johnson, who also designed the Liberty Pole in Downtown Rochester, the Temple Sinai in Brighton and other iconic structures around the city.

This celebration will be held rain or shine. Masks will be required inside the building and social distancing will be encouraged.

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