New Queens Library At Elmhurst Is ‘Topped Out’
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall; Councilmember Daniel Dromm, Commissioner David Burney, City Department of Design and Construction; Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, Queens Library President and CEO Thomas W. Galante, Alan Nahmias, president of Stalco Construction and community leaders hoisted the ceremonial final steel beam onto the new Queens Library at Elmhurst today. It is a milestone: the library’s steel structure is complete and it’s well on its way to serving the people of Elmhurst.
Marshall said, “I remember touring the old, crowded library during my first term as borough president. Today, I look forward to the completion of this new facility, which will become an incredible community resource for residents of all ages. As borough president, I had the privilege of providing more than $27 million towards this new library. It’s a good investment in the future of this community and will reap dividends for years to come.”
“The construction of the new Elmhurst Library has reached another major milestone,” said Dromm (D-Elmhurst). “Our community is excited to welcome to the neighborhood a state of the art library so that people can take advantage of all of the wonderful services it will have to offer. For communities as diverse as Elmhurst, libraries represent so much more than just books. Libraries provide a place to learn English, catch up on news from back home, and even connect with loved ones who are far away. Libraries continue to play a pivotal role in people’s day to day lives and we are thrilled Elmhurst will soon have a library that meets their needs.”
“We are very excited to be working with Marpillero Pollak Architects and Stalco Construction Company to bring the people of Elmhurst a library that reflects their needs and their neighborhood. The new Elmhurst Library will provide significantly more program area than the original 1906 building, with double the physical space, triple the space for educational and arts programming, and a design that allows for future expansion. The new building will also incorporate the city’s active-design principles by encouraging movement throughout the space, especially via stairways. We are proud to join our partners at Queens Library in celebrating the topping-out of this exciting new investment in the future of one of the most diverse communities in our city,” said Burney.
“Elmhurst is a thriving neighborhood that needs a state-of-the-art library to support education, job growth and intellectual development. The new design by award-winning Marpillero Pollak Architects will combine all the library features the community deserves while paying homage to the library’s legacy in Elmhurst,” said Galante.
“Today we are celebrating the traditional topping-out of the new, $27.8-million, 30,000-square-foot Elmhurst Library. The construction of the steel frame required 300 tons of steel delivered by 17 trailer trucks,” said Nahmias. “This milestone wouldn’t be possible without the dedication, hard work, creativity, and expertise of project managers, architects, engineers and construction workers. This magnificent building is one of the most important and best-designed public projects currently underway in New York City. I am looking forward to celebrating its opening in 2014,” he added.
When it opens for public service in 2014, the new library will be double the size of the former one, featuring four levels for customer service with elevator access to all levels. Features include separate library areas for adults, children and teens; a large 32-computer Cyber Center for customer use; a new Adult Learner Center; an interior reading atrium and front and rear community gardens. “Memory features” will preserve the library’s legacy in the community. Original bricks will be used in the new façade. The nostalgic Children’s Room fireplace will be relocated to the new building. There will be a 1906 Memory Wall plus many other acknowledgments of the library’s long history in the community. Funding for the new library was provided by Marshall, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Dromm.
While the new building is under construction, library service is being provided from a temporary building parked behind the church on 85-08 51st Avenue at Broadway. The Adult Learning Center is holding classes in the St. James Gymnasium at 84-07 Broadway.
Working with general contractor Stalco Construction Co., and architect Marpillero Pollak Architects, the project team includes structural engineer Severud Associates, MEP engineer Ambrosino & DePinto Consulting Engineers and lighting designer/landscape architect Wallace Roberts & Todd, Philadelphia.