Brooklyn Heights

OPINION: Preserving the Brooklyn Heights Library’s stone friezes

March 20, 2017 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Eagle photo of the Brooklyn Heights Library by Mary Frost

The Brooklyn Eagle enthusiastically backs an idea by readers to temporarily move the classic stone friezes currently gracing the façade of the Brooklyn Heights Library to the Brooklyn Museum’s Sculpture Garden.

Library demolition has begun, and developer Hudson Companies told the Eagle that the company will carefully remove the reliefs and store them for the duration of the construction period. The spokesperson added that Brooklyn Public Library is committed to making sure the reliefs are preserved either at the new branch or another location.

Advocates are concerned, however, that once the beloved artwork by sculptor Clemente Spampinato (1912-1993) is hidden away in storage, reinstalling it will be given low priority by the city. Displaying them at the Brooklyn Museum would keep them in the public eye and allow museum-goers to enjoy Spampinato’s work in the interim.

Late Monday, the library confirmed that Hudson would be storing the reliefs, and that BPL is working on finding a location within the new building for the reliefs.