CPL – Bezazian Branch – 1226 W. Ainslie St.
Serving Uptown and Edgewater, the Bezazian Branch of the Chicago Public Library opened at 1226 W. Ainslie Street on January 26, 1957. It features a display of photos of the neighborhood in the 1970s, as well as a mural painted by local children. Our favorite feature, however, was the Bezazian Biblio Bike 🙂
This branch has a really nice, big, kids area and the feel of a warm, homey neighborhood branch.
And for those wondering about the name, it’s a great story. Born in Chicago, Harold A. Bezazian was the son of Armenian immigrants. Wanting to be a writer, he was sadly killed in action in the Philippines in March 1945. Turning his grief into positive action, Harold’s father created scholarships with his son’s Army death benefits. He also created parks in his name, as well as donating $50,000 to the City of Chicago in order to found what would become this branch of the CPL. A plaque commemorating Harold’s life can still be found in the lobby. Those interested in more of the story, check out this great in-depth article.