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Greenpoint Library’s Opening Date Pushed Back to 2020

The new library will be double the size of the previous building. (Rendering by Marble Fairbanks/ Courtesy of Friends of the Greenpoint Library)

Oct. 23, 2019 By Allie Griffin

The completion date of the new Greenpoint Library has once again been pushed back due to construction delays and is now expected to open early in the new year.

The old library building at 107 Norman Ave. was demolished two years ago and the branch has been closed since July 2017, with construction beginning a few months later in October of the same year.

The new $20.8 million library’s original anticipated completion date was December 2018, but due unforeseen construction issues, it has been continuously pushed back further and further — first to summer 2019, then to fall 2019 and now to early 2020.

“We experienced delays caused in large part by the discovery of asbestos underground and the discovery of the old Carnegie library foundation,” a spokesperson for the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) said.

Before the last Greenpoint library was built, the Carnegie library, which was built in 1906, stood at 107 Norman Ave. It was demolished in the early 1970s, but its foundation was not completely removed and as a result the newest rendition of the Greenpoint library’s foundation had to be redesigned in order to work around it.

Asbestos remediation, harsh weather conditions and poorly-draining soil also lead to construction delays. According to the BPL, the soil at the site holds water longer than common well-draining soil in other locations and foundations cannot be poured on wet soil.

Despite the delays, construction remains ongoing and the Center for Architecture is hosting a sold-out tour of the building this weekend on Oct. 26.

The new library, designed by architectural firm Marble Fairbanks, will be double the size of the previous building. Partially funded by a $5 million grant from the Greenpoint Community Environment Fund, it will also be an environmental education hub and a model of sustainable development, exceeding LEED Gold Green Building Certification requirements.

The building itself will feature solar panels, rainwater cisterns, rooftop rain gardens and open green space, reducing energy consumption by 80 percent and saving 50,000 gallons of water each year. The library will also offer 300 environmental programming each year.

While construction on the building is finishing up, Greenpoint residents can access books from a Bookmobile service on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the corner of Manhattan Avenue and Norman Avenue.

A pop-up library has been set up at the Park Church Co-Op at 129 Russell St., and story-time is being held at the YMCA.

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Considering it’s at about half the cost and one fifth of the construction time of the neighboring Hunter’s Point branch, I’d say this library is right on schedule. But still, eager to see this project finished.

John bruetsch

Are there going to be a juice and coffee bar in the library? Any idea what the opening date will be and hours of operations?

stan chaz

John, I assume your motives are good, perhaps trying to bring the community together in a more inviting & diverse meeting space.
But why not have this glitzy new BPL branch also apply for a liquor license?
That would certainly be in line with the unchecked proliferation of liquor-serving establishments in this rapidly gentrifying area.
Greenpoint is a once quiet & affordable residential neighborhood where both soused tourists and gated-condo yuppies increasingly don’t give a damn — about the nuisance and noise that they & their bars bring to suffering long-time neighborhood residents.
To paraphrase the tag line of a once popular comedian: we get no respect, no respect! For there is a huge difference between inclusive & enlightened change and destruction my friend, a huge difference…

Of course, who cares about books when we have the mind-numbing internet to distract, distort & poison the minds of the smart phone zombies wandering our streets?
Ha, the term smart phone is one of the most misleading examples of oxymoron branding ever invented. It’s ideally suited for hiding the dumbing down of multitudes of (oxy)morons — who spend their whole waking lives enmeshed around their so-called smart phones. This, while foolishly allowing both themselves & their privacy to become products that are both and sold.
Well, I guess the fish does truly rot from the head down – with the sorry example of a President who never reads, and who spends his days tantrum tweeting – in between golfing and trying to shamelessly subvert the Constitution.
Of course I realize that I myself am using the Beast to criticize the Beast, but if all of this is considered “progress” then I shudder to think what the brave new future holds for both us and our descendants.


To summarize: Stan does not know if there will be a juice or coffee bar nor does he know the future hours of operation.




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