Right as the New York City Housing Authority goes public with its controversial plan to allow developers to build high rises in the middle of public housing developments, the Brooklyn Public Library is taking a similar approach with the hope of mitigating its ongoing financial struggles. The New York Times reports that the library plans on selling off the land beneath two of its branches—The Brooklyn Heights Library at Cadman Plaza and the Pacific Library on Fourth Avenue—to developers who will then tear down the buildings and carve out space for them on the ground floor of their new residential towers.
Pacific Library when it opened in 1904. (Courtesy Brooklyn Public Library)
But a number of local residents aren’t pleased with the Library’s plans and are concerned that these modern, high-rise iterations will lack that unique community feel and cultural character found in the existing libraries. Once the Pacific Branch, built in 1904 as the first Carnegie library in Brooklyn and designed by architect Raymond Almirall, is torn down, the closest library for patrons in the Boerum Hill and Park Slope neighborhoods will be located in Two Trees’ 32-story apartment tower designed by Enrique Norten of Ten Arquitectos, which will also house arts space for BAM and 651 ARTS.Historic view of the Pacific Library’s interior. (Courtesy Brooklyn Public Library)