Tag Archives: Garrison Architects

Flood-resistant buildings to be installed on Rockaway Beach

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of NYC Parks & Recreation

This summer it will be safe to go back in the water.

Improved beachfront structures that adhere to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new flood elevation standards will be installed at Rockaway Beach by Memorial Day weekend, according to the New York City Parks Department.

These modern-looking lifeguard stands, comfort stations and offices will also be placed at Brooklyn’s Coney Island and Staten Island’s Midland, Cedar Grove and Wolfe’s Pond Beaches.

“We simply don’t know how high sea levels will rise in future years. Building higher will help these new public amenities stand the test of time,” said the Parks Department in a January newsletter.

Sitting on top of concrete piles, the structures will be seven to 14 feet above ground level and four feet above boardwalk height at seven of the Rockaway sites and eight feet at another Rockaway location. They can withstand another storm surge similar to Sandy.

The structures, designed by Brooklyn-based Garrison Architects, will be installed at 15 different beach locations. Each of the 17 buildings will consist of two modular units that will be connected by a bridge.



Elmhurst, East Elmhurst libraries to become ‘destinations’

| brennison@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of the Queens Library

The Queens Library has turned the page on an era of basic brick buildings, beginning a new chapter of attractive edifices acting as neighborhood landmarks.

During the fiscal crisis of the 1970s many libraries were “cinder block and institutional and really not aesthetically pleasing or a welcoming community space to be in,” said Joanne King, associate director of communications at the Queens Library. The Elmhurst and East Elmhurst branches serve as two examples of the shift to transform the libraries into community destinations.

“We want the community to feel welcome, so a lot of the buildings as they’re renovated are being renovated with the exterior walls at least partly transparent so it integrates more with the community and the community can see what’s going on inside the library,” she said.

The Elmhurst Library, which is being rebuilt, was originally constructed in 1906 with funding from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, though it underwent numerous expansions and renovations.

“It’s going to be integrated into the community and the colors are vibrant; it’s not some large beige building with no personality,” King said.

Hours before the foundation was completed on the Elmhurst branch on July 25, Garrison Architects was receiving an Excellence in Design award for the addition to the East Elmhurst Library.

The award is given to exceptional public projects that exemplify the highest standards of design.

Jim Garrison, the firm’s owner, said in the past, libraries “tended to want to shutter themselves as opposed to open themselves up.”

Saying the design award meant a lot, he added: “That’s a big part of the agenda, making libraries an accessible part of our public world.”

The 30,000-square-foot Elmhurst Library is scheduled to open in 2014. The addition to the East Elmhurst branch does not yet have a completion date.