First New Branch in the Borough In 40 Years
First Branch Ever in DUMBO
Adams Street Library marks the fourth major branch development project to open in the past year
For images, click here. (Photo Credit: Gregg Richards.)
Brooklyn, NY— Today, Brooklyn Public Library celebrates 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 Street in DUMBO, the highly anticipated library is the first-ever to serve the communities of Vinegar Hill, DUMBO, and Farragut, and is part of BPL’s broader effort to expand and revitalize its network to create modern, inspiring and innovative spaces to serve the next generation of library patrons.
“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, and we can’t wait for the entire DUMBO community to bring it to life.”
Designed by the New York-based architecture firm, WORK Architecture Company (“WORKac”), and built by Shawmut Design & Construction, the library is the result of over dozens of meetings and charrettes with the community and other stakeholders. Located on the ground floor of a historic manufacturing plant, the Adams Street Library delivers over 6,500 square feet of new public space to the area. 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 playful, warm interior provide 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 who draw a community together,” said Amale Andraos, a principal at WORKac.
“The neighborhood is both new and old,” said Dan Wood, her partner, also principal at Workac. “And our design plays with that, combining very contemporary shapes and spaces with the existing, patinaed brick and exposed timber ceilings.”
Created by Linked 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.
Upcoming programs include bilingual Drag Queen Story Hour, virtual knitting and crocheting groups, and a performance by Moozika! singer-songwriter Jesse Goldman's award-winning bilingual family music band.
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. We must continue to invest in and support our libraries. Thank you to Brooklyn Public Library and the many stakeholders involved in the planning process for making this a reality," said Council Member Stephen T. Levin.
“Libraries are not just a place to check out books, they are a vital community resource. That's why this Council is always proud to support our public libraries and we couldn't be happier to see a new one open in Brooklyn for the first time in 40 years. Congratulations to the Brooklyn Public Library for this new branch and thank you for continuing to serve all New Yorkers," said Corey Johnson, New York City Council Speaker.
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 -- no matter their background," 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 Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY). “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 Senator Brian Kavanagh, who represents DUMBO, Vinegar Hill, and the Navy Yard. “The new branch will provide valuable programs and services, including language, reading, and digital literacy classes, family programs, computer and wifi access, and business and career services. I look forward to seeing the many ways the community will enjoy the new library. I commend Mayor Bill de Blasio, Councilmember Steve Levin, President Linda Johnson and everyone at BPL, the State Department of Education, the architects at WORK AC, the community residents who provided input, and all of those involved with the creation of this vital educational and cultural resource for this vibrant area of Brooklyn.”
“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 literary together. I applaud the Brooklyn Library for the incredible achievement of building the first new library in decades and I look forward to enjoying this accessible and innovative space,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, a former teacher and advocate for ensuring every child can read.
"As the Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries - and a proud employee of the Queens Library for over a decade - it’s incredibly exciting to know there’s a new library coming to New York City. Libraries have always been an integral part of community engagement, and since the onset of COVID-19, their importance has only grown. To see this renaissance and know that our library systems are expanding and modernizing for future generations is truly inspiring. I congratulate Brooklyn Public Library on the opening of their 60th branch and look forward to many visits to the Adams Street Library in the years to come," said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.
“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. Brooklyn Public Library is a remarkable institution and have already become a wonderful part of our community. We cannot thank them enough,” said Alexandria Sica, President Dumbo Improvement District.
This expansion is part of the largest spate of library redevelopment since the Carnegie era. Brooklyn Public Library has invested in narrowing a capital needs gap, enhancing branch library design, and updating aging infrastructure system-wide. The result of that work is that over a third of the community libraries in the BPL system are either in process of or slated for necessary revitalizing capital improvements. Brooklyn Public Library has been widely recognized for its innovative approach to design and placemaking, with the renovation of Central, Rugby and the construction of the new Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center which was recently selected as a finalist for Fast Company’s 2021 Innovation by Design Awards in the Spaces and Places category.
About Brooklyn Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library is one of the nation’s largest library systems and among New York City’s most democratic institutions. As a leader in developing modern 21st century libraries, we provide resources to support personal advancement, foster civic literacy, and strengthen the fabric of community among the more than 2.7 million individuals who call Brooklyn home. We provide nearly 60,000 free programs a year with writers, thinkers, artists, and educators—from around the corner and around the world. And we give patrons millions of opportunities to enjoy one of life’s greatest satisfactions: the joy of a good book.