Did you know that East 82nd Street is home to The American Hungarian Library and Historical Society? Founded in 1955 in Yorkville, the Hungarian House continues to serve as the hub of literary, cultural and social life for the Tri-State Hungarian-American community, and is looking forward to a well-needed face-lift.
HMA2 Architects will transform the American Hungarian Library into an educational community center that celebrates Hungarian literature, art, cinema and culture. Located just below street level at the Hungarian House on the Upper East Side, the existing 900 square foot library will be renovated with the aim of intelligently leveraging the available space. The design takes cues from the rich cultural context of its location, inspired by a range of sources, from folk art to modern art, classic to popular music. These inspirations inform the colors, graphics and furnishings chosen for the interiors. Intended to accommodate patrons of all ages, the library is designed to be a highly flexible research and gathering place. Its energized settings can be adapted to allow for multiple functions, such as exhibitions, classes, meetings, and events.
Taking a look back at the history of Hungarian House in Yorkville, it began with the generous support of their founding members, three organizations (the Széchenyi István Society, the Hungarian Catholic League, and the American Hungarian Library and Historical Society) purchased the building, now named Hungarian House, from the German athletic club Central Turnverein of the City of New York at 213-215 East 82nd Street on September 9, 1966, when the AFHLE assumed responsibility for its maintenance. Over the years, the Catholic League handed over its ownership rights to local Hungarian Franciscans, who in turn passed it on to the Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris, which has been the third co-owner organization ever since.
The Library is open to the public, interested in all things Hungarian, including several Hungarian language courses at various levels taught by native speakers. Other activities include the Bóbita Santa Celebration and Christmas; an annual Hungarian heritage Festival; Easter Egg decorations; story-telling, a book club, and more.
The American Hungarian Library and Historical Society, Hungarian House, located at 213 East 83rd Street, NYC, is currently the only active Hungarian cultural center in New York City.