Hunters Point bookworms can soon curl up with a good read just inches from home.
Queens Library announced plans to construct a new branch at the corner of Center Boulevard and 48th Avenue in Hunters Point. The 21,500-square-foot facility, built on the banks of the East River, will feature a cyber-center, roof terrace and communal garden as well as separate reading spaces for adults, teens and children. According to Queens Library spokesperson Joanne King, the building will place an emphasis on environmental preservation, implementing ecologically-sound features to create an entirely carbon neutral structure.
Library officials expect to feature free cultural events and educational programs at the facility.
The building — priced at $28.6 million — was designed by world-famous architect Steven Holl, who specializes in environmentally efficient buildings.
The neighborhood lobbied strongly for the library, tired of trekking to their closest facility at the Court Square branch. King said residents felt they deserved a communal place to gather, share ideas and relax.
“They’re going to have a community hub,” said King. “It’s going to be an anchor of education and culture in the community — a community space where people can just relax and be. It will be recognizable from across the river and in the community so it’s going to give some status to the community itself by having this iconic building there as well as all the services a library provides.”
The waterfront site was dedicated at a ceremony on Friday, October 5 with the help of Borough President Helen Marshall and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. Students from P.S. 78 planted “trees of knowledge” during the Friday morning ceremony.
Dr. Don Dodelson, president of the group Friends of Hunters Point Library, was ecstatic that his outfit’s hard work had paid off.
“It feels wonderful that the library is actually going to be and dedicating the ground is a huge step forward,” said Dodelson.
Dodelson hopes the library will become an all-encompassing community center, housing performances and gallery showcases as well as ceremonies such as weddings and recitals.