On December 16, 2015, the New York City Council approved the plan to redevelop the Brooklyn Heights branch library site into a high-rise condominium tower that will house a new state-of-the-art library. An interim library at Our Lady of Lebanon Church, 95 Remsen Street, opened on July 26, 2016. Demolition and construction of the branch library site is expected to begin in fall 2016 and be completed in 2020. As a result of changes approved by the City Council, the new library will have 26,620 square feet on three levels, and the building will also contain 9,000 square feet for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) classrooms and labs on the lower level operated by the Department of Education, with access from a dedicated lobby on Clinton Street. An additional 5,000-square-foot library will be built near the Farragut Houses in Vinegar Hill. The bas-relief friezes on the existing library will be carefully removed and stored for possible reinstallation in the new library.
The BHA has supported the Brooklyn Public Library’s plan to redevelop the site of the Brooklyn Heights branch library because we believe that a state-of-the-art library will benefit our neighborhood, the associated 114-units of affordable housing will benefit the CB2 community, and the funds generated will benefit libraries throughout the borough.
The BHA’s support was contingent upon the Brooklyn Public Library’s commitment to uninterrupted interim library service during construction, and guarantees that the proceeds from the sale will go to capital improvements of other branches of the Brooklyn Public Library. In addition, the BHA lobbied for all service entrances to the library and the condominium to be located on the Cadman Plaza side of the lot, rather than on Clinton Street.
The Brooklyn Public Library has information about the project on its website here.
Council Member Steve Levin has written about why he supports the project here.
The most recent public plans for the building are available here.
The BHA’s testimony before the City Council is here.