About This Library
Legler Branch was rededicated July 31, 1993, after undergoing a major renovation.
It first opened October 11, 1920 as Legler Regional Library, named in honor of Henry Legler, chief librarian of the Chicago Public Library from 1909 to 1917. Legler is credited with increasing library services by launching deposit stations in businesses, hospitals and schools. He also developed branch reading rooms and established the city’s regional library system. Legler Branch was the first regional library in the Chicago Public Library system.
Legler Branch displays “Wilderness, Winter River Scene,” a restored mural by Midwestern artist R. Fayerweather Babcock. The mural depicts Father Jacques Marquette and 18th century Native Americans trading by a river. Commissioned for Legler Branch in 1934, the mural was funded by the Work Projects Administration, a program that provided federal funding for artists during the Depression. Legler Branch also houses two pieces funded through the Percent for Art Ordinance administered by the City of Chicago Public Art Program: a carved wood sculpture by Elizabeth Catlett and a painting by Kerry James Marshall.
The branch is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.