For the first time since 1983, the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) system has added a new branch.
The Adams Street Library at 9 Adams Street is the first BPL branch to serve the fast-growing communities of Vinegar Hill and DUMBO, and the nearby Farragut Houses. The new location is the 60th branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.
Located directly across the street from Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Adams Street Library offers views of the Manhattan skyline while functioning as a new community center in the area.
“Adams Street is the first new library in Brooklyn in nearly four decades and a model for all public libraries in the decades to come,” said BPL president and CEO Linda E. Johnson. “People from this neighborhood have been walking up the hill to the Brooklyn Heights Library, which is a bit of a trek especially in the winter, so we knew there would be a big demand here.”
DUMBO has changed greatly in the past two decades, transitioning from an industrial hub into a residential and commercial destination. The Adams Street Library, which is located in a former factory building, reflects this change.
“I love the character of an old building, and I think the way they blended new and old is really brilliant,” Johnson added.
Designed by WORK Architecture Company (WORKac) and built by Shawmut Design & Construction, the library’s aesthetic was influenced by multiple community input sessions.
The outside of the building is covered by a large mural, while the interior utilizes a mix of traditional and modern design methods. The centerpiece of the $7.2 million library is a state-of-the-art children’s reading room and play area, which will host cultural programming throughout the year.
“The neighborhood is both new and old,” explained WORKac partner Dan Wood. “Our design plays with that, combining very contemporary shapes and spaces with the existing, patinaed brick, and exposed timber ceilings.”
“This is the first new branch to be opened by the Brooklyn Public Library in decades and I could not be happier to see that it will serve the DUMBO and Vinegar Hill community,” said Councilman Steve Levin. “We must continue to invest in and support our libraries.”
Community leaders, such as Alexandria Sica from the DUMBO Improvement District, echoed a similar sentiment.
“What was once a trash-processing center is now a treasure for all Brooklynites,” Sica said. “It’s pure magic to browse books beneath the Manhattan Bridge. I know we will look back at this day for years to come as a major moment for our neighborhood.”