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Hunters Point Library to Open Sept. 24, After Years of Delays

The Hunters Point Library under construction in Aug 2018 (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez )

Aug. 22, 2019 By Shane O’Brien

The Hunters Point Library will finally open next month after years of delays.

The library will officially open on Tuesday, Sept. 24, with a ribbon cutting ceremony planned for the same day.

The 22,000 square foot library has been under construction since 2015 and features an elaborate concrete-block design. The building, which is 81 1/2 feet tall, was designed by Steven Holl Architects and includes giant windows to take advantage of the East River views.

The project has been plagued with delays and budget problems since its inception.

The branch was first slated to open in 2014, with an initial groundbreaking in 2013.

However, that proposed opening date was pushed back until 2017 since the city couldn’t find a contractor to take on the elaborate job at the project’s initial budget of $28 million.

The city simplified the design of the project to reduce the cost in order to find a contractor. It also increased the project’s budget to $33 million in 2015 to further entice contractors. The project, however, still experienced further delays.

The targeted completion date was pushed back again since their were construction problems. For instance, there were issues getting specialized glass shipped in from Europe due to labor strikes in Spain in early 2017. When the glass eventually arrived, there were issues installing it.

Furthermore, the project’s general contractor, Triton Structural, had financial issues. In July 2018, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer said that the company had failed to pay its subcontractors, which stopped work on the library for a period.

The library, which has cost taxpayers about $40 million, was last scheduled to open in February 2019, but that was pushed back until the end of summer.

Van Bramer said that, while there had been numerous delays, the opening of the library next month was a cause for joy and celebration.

“While there have been moments of great frustration with delays,” Van Bramer said. “I know that generations of children and families will benefit because we stayed the course, invested the money, and saw this project to its completion.”

The library will house over 50,000 books and will feature a cyber-center, a children’s room, a quiet room and a community room capable of holding 200 people. The library also features a rooftop area with seating.

The Hunters Point branch will be the first library added to the Queens Public Library system since it opened the Long Island City branch on 21st Street in 2007.

 

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19 Comments

Judith Berdy

LIC is not the only NYPL project that is taking forever. A new NYPL branch on Roosevelt Island was announced in 2011. With any luck the 7,000 square foot branch may open next spring. It is moving at a pathetic pace, one that only government could accept. (The new Cornell Tech campus was announced at the same time as NYPL branch. Cornell Tech has had 3 building open for 3 years and we cannot open a library)
A sad commentary

My complaint about Hunters Point is the use of steps everywhere. Is this disabled friendly? The building is an eyesore and I am sure parts of it will be closed off since they are hazardous.

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geo

One visual problem, design-wise, is the windows are more design embellishments, rather than an integral part of the whole – plus in the top photo, they are all front facade, it should at least have one window on the side, leading to the back. This is a 3-d building, after all. One positive note, the color is upbeat and complements the surrounding buildings.

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Chas

Late fee will be $500 a book
But no need to worry
It will fall into the East river during the next storm
Oh wait
Global warming a myth
Nice work Jimbo

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Chaz

Could have built affordable housing and have an open and fair lottery
Oh,right that would never happen .It’s LIC .Bring you cash in brown paper bag

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Chas

Why couldn’t a library be incorporated into a building for affordable housing
Or even market price apartments for that matter
This is just an ego based, corrupted ugly building
And a waste of local resources only the the outsourced companies made money
I really would like the know the final price tag .It may take awhile but it will come out
Over cost ,deadlines don’t matter in NYC

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Critic Al

Libraries are socialist propaganda. They allow the public to educate itself as to how it is subjugated by the ruling elites.

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Anonymous

Jimmy Van Bramer should be embarrassed to show up for a photo op at the opening he did nothing to make it happen sooner except stuff his pockets with city money. KEEP jimmy AWAY!

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Put up $$$ ugly box, comrade

soviet architecture right here in LIC?! Who approved this, Stalin?

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Frank

Maybe some of the lead contractors will grace the public with their presence and answer questions about why this cost so much and took so long.

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strike

I suppose everyone sees things differently (my eyes abhor…). To me, this library looks fantastic. I love it.

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Funny timing

Funny that it’s finally ready at the same time Little Jimmy is planning on running for Borough President.

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That Guy Again

Good, just in time for the Winter so the smelly homeless have a place to keep warm.

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My eyes abhor you...

hope it looks better from the inside, that thing is an eyesore. One of the most hideous things I’ve seen an architect do in recent years.

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brooklynmc

Take a look at the Queensbridge Park Field House. 1,500 sq. foot basic building for $6.5 million! Massive corruption and crazy union costs.

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Astoria Park Guy

Fantastic! I’m unsurprised by the delays but am glad the project was competed. Such a fantastic resource, and a very interesting addition to the waterfront skyline— especially from the ferry.

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