Oil tycoon and philanthropist Charles Pratt founded the Pratt Institute in 1887 several blocks away from his Clinton Hill home. Although Pratt never had the opportunity to go to college himself, he founded the institute to enable working-class men and women to receive an affordable education; tuition for a class cost the equivalent of $95 today for a term. The institute, which taught skills such as mechanical drawing and furniture making, was also one of the first colleges in the United States open to anyone regardless of gender, race or class. The library, which was erected in 1896, was also the first public library in Brooklyn and the only public library in the borough for next 15 years.
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