The Death of a Library: An American Tragedy is non-fiction, and not part of the fictional Yonkers trilogy.
The Yonkers Carnegie Library was commonly held to be the most beautiful building in the city. No one seemed to know for sure why it was destroyed. The circumstances that led to the death of the library are steeped in half-truths, incredible lies, and wild rumors that range from political corruption to bumbling incompetence. One rumor focuses on the true intentions of the Mayor of the time, Angelo Martinelli, and his desire to undo the white flight to the east side of Yonkers. Rumors hinting of racism—the area surrounding the library had become increasingly populated with blacks and Puerto Ricans—is also explored as a reason why the library was destroyed. Corruption in Yonkers city government has also been alleged, and while it’s hard to prove people took money under the table, the chronic pattern of cronyism is undeniable. Among the rumor mill, claims persist that Angelo Martinelli wanted to build a sleek high-rise tower to replace both the Yonkers City Hall and the library. Other rumors suggest the library was razed to make room for a bridge to New Jersey. Another allegation accuses Yonkers City Council Member Harry Oxman of sacrificing the library to spare his small-time dry cleaning business. And finally, the library itself has been accused of being its own worst enemy. What really happened?