HPL's Building Is Born
When it came time to build a new building because the library was quickly outgrowing its space at the Second National Bank building, there were a number of concerns. Martha Bayard Stevens came to the rescue, deeding the land for the building to the City of Hoboken and the Board of Trustees, and she was there when the cornerstone was eventually laid in 1896. Her son, Richard, an attorney by trade, drafted two letters concerning a funding donation from the Stevens family - provided that the library building include an industrial school in the plans.
A few architectural firms placed bids to design the library building, but the selected architect was Albert Beyer. He went through a couple of designs, including a Gothic Revival one, before landing on the final design for the building with its dome. The Heatherton Brothers of Jersey City were hired to actually construct the building.
On the subject of books, the collection was growing along with the building. The first catalogue was compiled by Nina Hatfield (under her maiden name of Koester) in 1891, and it was published in both English and German due to Hoboken's large German population at the time. This catalogue was a printed book, but later iterations used the card catalogue (digitized and viewable at the library) and the digital catalogue, which has proven to be especially useful as it can also be used from home!