A comprehensive renovation of the Woodhaven branch of the Queens Public Library will soon become a reality.
“These are the generations of kids who are going to benefit from this library,” said Sherry Algredo, first vice chair of Community Board 9. “It is going to be renovated into a 21st century library.”
The $25 million project will include new reading rooms, ADA-compliant ramps and restrooms, and new interior elevators. The building will also receive upgrades to the exterior, including historically appropriate windows and a new roof.
Funded by Andrew Carnegie, the Woodhaven branch at Forest Parkway and 85th Drive opened in 1924. It is one of the five remaining libraries in Queens.
A total of 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929 throughout the world. The Woodhaven Branch is one of five that still operates in Queens. The others are in Astoria, College Point, Richmond Hill and Elmhurst.
“This building is not just being renovated, but restored to its original glory and will be even more accessible,” said Councilman Eric Ulrich. “When we invest in libraries, we’re investing in our future, our children, our seniors and all people,”
The building went under major renovations in the late 1960’s and additional repairs were made following a fire in 1978.
Construction is slated to begin in winter of 2022 and completed by fall of 2024. Library services will not be interrupted during construction.
“I’m so excited to think about all the children in Woodhaven who are going to come to this library and how it is going to open up their minds and imaginations,” said Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar. “Libraries are sanctuaries for youth, keeping them safe from violence. It’s a place where jobseekers and entrepreneurs can go.”