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Construction of Hunters Point Library expected to begin this spring

Hunters Point Library location

Hunters Point Library location

Jan. 20, 2015 By Christian Murray

A ground breaking on the Hunters Point Library could happen as early as this spring.

The city has the funding it needs to start construction, according to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

“The funding problem has been solved so we can begin construction,” Van Bramer said, although he added that he will have to add funding midway through the 2-year project.

“Hopefully there will be shovels in the ground …and I would hope we could begin construction in the first half of this year.”

Construction of the library, which will be built at Center Blvd/48th Ave (next to Gantry Plaza State Park) was expected to begin in 2013. However, there have been several delays due to the inability of the city to find a contractor willing to build it for the $28.6 million that had been allocated.

The bids came in ranging from $33 million to $42 million and the city had to do some value engineering in order to find a construction company that could build it within budget.

Officials said that they had to get rid of some of the more elaborate features to reduce the cost by about $5 million. They included replacing the aluminum exterior facade with cement and glass; forgoing custom interior fixtures; and going without the geothermal well system.

However, the library will feature a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city skyline, a garden, a gallery, a conference room, a computer center and youth and teen spaces.  The 21,500 square-foot facility will be largely a glass and cement structure.

Van Bramer said that while there was some value engineering, the changes would be merely cosmetic. “I think the project that will ultimately be built will be architecturally significant and a spectacular addition to the Hunters Point Community.”

Meanwhile, Mark Christie, who is the president of the Friends of Hunters Point Library, said: “I see this as the crown jewel of the Queens Library system.”

“It’s a beacon for the community—an inspiration for people, which will be a great community center especially as Hunters Point grows,” Christie said.

Initial rendering

Initial rendering

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Like most things van bramer endorses and the city builds, this is a joke.
Wake up, we are in the digital age. Like it or not, libraries are largely a thing of the past. If you are going to build a library, make it close to public transportation and more central to mass population.

This is a waste of $20+ million dollars that could have been better spent elsewhere in the community!


What an eyesore!? What happened to the beautiful open space !? So much for the park 🙁
I just cant believe there are virtually NO WINDOWS??!!
Why put a building on the waterfront and not have windows… this might as well be a Costco or Wal-Mart


Here’s a link to the renderings below because the rendering above doesn’t contextually show the adjacent buildings and their heights, density, and orientation to the water. Also, not all concrete on the exterior buildings are cmu block (ha, that’s just for incredible cheap warehouse buildings, which this is not). I think it will be a great addition to the neighborhood. I hope this neighborhood continues to become more interested in uniquely designed buildings and support good architecture that aren’t your standard developer glass tower.


Sadly, the ‘foamed aluminum rainskin ‘ has been value engineered away. I was told that it would have cost 4 million dollars alone. Also the geothermal element won’t be in this building . No matter what, it’s going to be a place of inspiration for the community and great for Queens.


Thanks for sharing, it is a far better rendering than the one in the article itself (Except for the one pic with the creepy guy standing on the wall!)

It looks like it could be a very interesting building (Even if it doesn’t flow/compliment AT ALL with anything else around it).

Hoping that the final product follows these designs and doesn’t end up with “CMU block” rendering it a total eyesore.

Fed Up

Reading these comments I can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief that important decisions like choosing which architect should design a significant New York City landmark project are not left to these architecture PHDs who spend their time commenting on the LICPost forums. If it were up to you jabroni’s the whole city would be filled with the soulless boxes that litter the waterfront — cold, ignorant, shitty buildings.


Right…a cinder block with asymmetric windows that matches nothing around it is a vast improvement on the attractive glass buildings that dominate the skyline. I think that anyone who complains about “soulless boxes” secretly wants to live in suburbia, is embarrassed by this location lust, and is panicking that the boroughs are developing to they point they will need to make a decision.


Gotta disagree here – while it is very likely that none of us commenting are trained architects, it appears that us “jabronis” are all COMPLAINING about the soulless box depicted as the library, not the contrary.

Maybe some “jabronis” on this forum should read, and comprehend, all the comments before throwing out insults.


Honestly, do we even need this in the age of Kindles, Nooks, and iPads? I’d rather see the site converted to more park than a cinder block sitting on the waterfront. Maybe it is actually a bunker to hide in for CB2 and all those curmudgeons who like to complain about the neighborhood changing.


We have waited a very very long time for this library. I have seen other renderings of the building and the one depicted in the article does not really do it justice, not even close. It is far from a boxy building. It’s really a beautiful piece of architecture (my opinion, of course) with interesting angles and will serve as a nice counterpoint to the high-rises and the park. I only wish they could have kept the aluminum; the play of light off the building won’t be the same without it. If there are any civic-minded donors out there with deep pockets, now’s the time to step up. Still, I’ll take this modified building over nothing at all any day. I think it will be a great addition to LIC and sort of complete this section of the waterfront.

we need a library, but why make it ugly??

I think they hired that Brooklyn “artist” that made the “pink bubble guy statue” in Jackson Avenue! But I have to say this library is even worst, seriously can we hire someone with a little bit of taste??? Puaajj!


Libraries are important pillars to a community and this will be a great addition to LIC. It may not be perfect but it is better than the alternative. Congrats to Mark for all your efforts.


No building will ever be built/designed where everyone is pleased with its aesthetics. I am not going to say that this the most beautiful building I have ever seen but I do appreciate that the city made the effort and hired a renowned architect that designed a unique building. Sure they could have saved money by building a brick box with openings for windows and doors but buildings are much more than a place to store things and protect you from the elements. I can’t wait to be able to walk into this new library. Lets hope that no more obstacles delay the construction start.


Great article.

More libraries are always good. It seems this effort suffers from substantial mission creep. Libraries ought to be places of learning FIRST, and sexy architecturally jewels second. Occupying high-value real estate (which could draw large tax revenues for the city), panoramic terraces, cosmetic aluminum siding, and geothermal wells should be considered AFTER the library has completely run out of educational resources to purchase, which is likely to happen never.


Finalllllly… Interested to see this happen…i feel like we’ve been waiting for this since 2010, at least. Wish they would have taken the oppty to break up the monotony of the towers, the rendering isn’t really that different shape wise, just material. nonetheless, make it happen!


I’m okay with the value engineering, but would like to see the geothermal well somehow put back in.


Thanks for this very nice article Mr. Murray. For those who believe that there view will be blocked , I can only guess that you would have preferred a twenty story building instead. And for those who don’t like the building the way it is, I can accept ten million dollars to have the perforated aluminum skin to return. Thank you for your support and come join the Friends of Queens Library at Hunters Point.


Let’s build a big ugly cinder block looking cube in the middle of all the new glass buildings.. Great idea guys, stop smoking pot~


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