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Brooklyn Public Library opens Adams Street Library; first branch since 1983

October 12, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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On Tuesday, Brooklyn Public Library celebrated the opening of Adams Street Library, marking its 60th branch in the system and first new library built in Brooklyn since 1983.

Located at 9 Adams St. in DUMBO, the highly anticipated library is the first-ever to serve the communities of Vinegar Hill, DUMBO and Farragut.

“Adams Street is the first new library in Brooklyn in nearly four decades and a model for all public libraries in the decades to come,” said Linda E. Johnson, president and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. “We’re grateful to our partners at WORKac for helping us realize a 21st century library that’s both artful and accessible, beautiful and versatile.”

Designed by the New York-based architecture firm, WORK Architecture Company (“WORKac”), and built by Shawmut Design & Construction, the library is the result of more than dozens of meetings with the community and other stakeholders.

Located on the ground floor of a historic manufacturing plant, the Adams Street Library has more than 6,500 square feet of public space. In addition to books and resources, patrons will find flexible meeting rooms and programming space with modern technology.

Fronting Brooklyn Bridge Park, the library offers stunning views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges and downtown Manhattan from its 15-foot windows, and the interior provides the perfect place to read, work and gather with neighbors.

The focal point of the interior space is the bright, whimsical area for children, elevated in the center of the library so younger children can see out of the large windows for story time and play. Teens will have their own area to gather as well, part of a wider BPL initiative in libraries across the borough to provide a separate and safe area for teens to do homework or just hang out.

“We placed the children’s area at the heart of this project, because they are [the ones] who draw a community together,” said Amale Andraos, a principal at WORKac.

Created by Link By Air, two massive murals are featured at the new library—reflecting the historic supergraphics which are iconic in DUMBO across the old manufacturing plants and warehouses in the neighborhood. Behind the check-in desk, a wall-length pixelated mural depicting large-scale plants give the wall texture and color that resonates with the whitewashed timber ceiling and brick. On the exterior of the building, visitors in the neighborhood are drawn to the outside of the building with the bright orange lettering spelling out “Library.”

Funding for the $7.2M project was provided by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Member Stephen Levin, the New York State Education Department and with proceeds from the redevelopment of Brooklyn Heights Library.

“The DUMBO-Vinegar Hill branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, at Adams Street, is a welcome addition and here in perfect timing as we begin to re-open. This was fought for by the community as part of the Brooklyn Heights Library ULURP, which not only brought forth a brand new, state-of-the-art library in the new building but also provided funding for much needed capital repairs in the Brooklyn Public Library system. This is the first new branch to be opened by the Brooklyn Public Library in decades, and I could not be happier to see that it will serve the DUMBO and Vinegar Hill community,” said Councilmember Stephen T. Levin.

“I congratulate the Brooklyn Public Library on the opening of their new Adams Street Library, their first new branch in 40 years. This new location will serve the residents of Farragut Houses, DUMBO, and beyond, expanding their horizons and offering vital educational opportunities. A robust and equitable public library system is needed now more than ever, and BPL has consistently shown that it is committed to serving the needs of all Brooklynites,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

“I am thrilled for the grand opening of the new state-of-the-art Adams Street Library, which I have no doubt will quickly become a community staple,” said Congressmember Nydia M. Velázquez (D-Brooklyn). “A space for New Yorkers of all ages to enjoy a good book and gather, Adams Street is an exciting new addition to the DUMBO neighborhood and will serve locals and visitors alike for many years to come.”

“The new Adams Street Library is cause for celebration. This marks the first new Brooklyn Public Library branch to be built in nearly four decades, and the first branch ever specifically serving the DUMBO, Vinegar Hill, Farragut Houses, and Brooklyn Navy Yard communities. I am glad the state was able to provide $1.3 million to help complete the project,” said State Sen. Brian Kavanagh, who represents DUMBO, Vinegar Hill and the Navy Yard.

The interior of the BPL’s new Adams Street Library has plenty of light, air and space to make patrons’ visits pleasurable. Photo by Gregg Richards

“I’m delighted to celebrate the opening of a modern 21st century library at Adams Street which will serve DUMBO, Vinegar Hill, Farragut and the surrounding areas. Libraries are one of our greatest democratic institutions, ensuring that children and adults can explore free programs, build community, and cherish the wonders of reading and civic literature,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon.

“The Adams Street Library is such a gift! It’s pure magic to browse books beneath the Manhattan Bridge. What was once a trash processing center is now a treasure for all Brooklynites! I know we will look back at this day for years to come as a major moment for our neighborhood,” said Alexandria Sica, president of the DUMBO Improvement District.

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