Oct. 28, 2019. By Shane O’Brien
The newly-opened Hunters Point Library is exhibiting a plethora of design issues, including leaks and cracked floors.
Deposits of water were found in the children’s area of the library, which opened officially on Sept. 24, and cracks have appeared in the library’s floors, officials have confirmed. There have also been reports that the library’s quiet room is not fully soundproof and that the noise of footsteps, coughing and the sweeping of a broom seep into the room.
The New York Post was first to report the story and noted that there were additional problems with the building’s general acoustics and that something simple like pulling out a chair can cause an elongated, echoing screech throughout the building.
A New York Post reporter also observed a crack in the floor that was over 10 feet long.
The New York Department of Design and Construction, which oversaw and managed the building of the library, is currently investigating the source of the leaks, Lisi de Bourbon, a spokesperson for the library, told the LICPost.
The $41 million library, which opened a number of years behind schedule and was more than $10 million over budget, has faced criticism since the get-go. One problem that quickly emerged was that a section of it is inaccessible to people who rely on wheelchairs.
A tiered mezzanine between the first and second floor of the building can only be accessed by stairs. Therefore, it is inaccessible for people with physical disabilities, some elderly and parents with strollers.
Council Member Costa Constantinides criticized the building’s design last week during a press conference. He noted that all public facilities should be 100 percent accessible to everyone.
The collection of reading material housed in the tiered mezzanine has been relocated to other parts of the library as a result of the criticism.
The tiered mezzanine is now a dead space and librarians have ruled out shelving reading material there for now.
De Bourbon said that QPL was working with the Department of Design and Construction and Steven Holl Architects – who designed the building – to explore possible solutions for the mezzanine.
One of the possible solutions is making the mezzanine a seating area, according to the New York Post.
“Our goal is to be inclusive and welcoming and provide safe access to all, and we are assessing the situation further with the Department of Design and Construction and Steven Holl Architects,” de Bourbon said.