DDC Announces Opening of New Library Branch on Roosevelt Island

The new Roosevelt Island branch features seating for an adjacent bus stop. Image Credit: NYC DDC

The new site is ADA-compliant and meets LEED Silver Certification standards. On January 25, 2021, NYC Department of Design and Construction (“DDC”) Commissioner Lorraine Grillo announced the opening of a new library on Roosevelt Island. The new library, located at 504 Main Street, is located near its former site. The new 5,200-square-foot library is more than double the size of the former NYPL branch.

The new library was a part of NYPL’s “Building for You” community engagement program. As such, the new library plans were based on community feedback, surveys, and public meetings. The reconstruction resulted in a library that maximizes public space inside and outside its walls. Within the library, there is a multi-purpose community room, an audio induction loop to help those who are hearing impaired, and a children’s room which is separated by a noise-reducing glass partition. There is space for shelving books, computer stations, a reading area, a teen area, a circulation counter, and restrooms. The library’s exterior at 504 Main Street includes an exterior book drop and a bench seating for the adjacent bus stop. The library also meets Americans with Disabilities Act requirements with a vestibule with automatic doors and a canopy to enhance public safety. The new branch offers grab-and-go services, online classes and events and community-based recourses.

The new Children’s Room. Image Credit: NYC DDC

The design of the library meets the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification standards. The library contains several sustainability features such as LED lighting, high-efficiency heating and air conditioning, low flow plumbing fixtures, and the usage of sustainable materials with minimal levels of volatile organic compounds. The landscape surrounding the entry includes new resilient plants.

The $7.8 million project began in October 2018, was managed by the DDC, was designed by Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects, and used XBR, Inc. as the contractor.  Funding was provided by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Ben Kallos, and former Council Member Jessica Lappin.

DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo said, “We are very pleased to join with our partners at NYPL to provide a new, larger and environmentally friendly library with space for community events plus children’s learning…The DDC team worked diligently under very difficult circumstances created by the pandemic, but the final result is more than worth it.”

NYPL President Anthony Marx said, “the Library is proud [to give] Roosevelt Island the new library that they have long needed, wanted, and deserved…It’s a new beginning for a community that for so long has loved and relied on its library, a trusted center of life where patrons access information and open doors of opportunity. We are eager to welcome our neighbors to their new space and support them as they continue to weather unprecedented challenges and work towards recovery and a brighter future.”

The library’s regular open hours are Monday-Saturday from 11:00 AM-5:00 PM. For more information about the Roosevelt Island branch, click here.

By: Sarah Cobble (Sarah is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)


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