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Friday, August 26, 2016

Queens Builds: Elmhurst Branch Library

The fourth of the five buildings I drove by in Queens last week is the Elmhurst Branch Library by Marpillero Pollak Architects. The library -- referred to as the second busiest branch in the Queens Library system -- is located at the intersection of Broadway and 51st Avenue in a bustling section of the Elmhurst neighborhood.

The project was not without some controversy. The fairly large design replaces a more than 100-year-old Carnegie library -- one of a then handful in Queens -- that was demolished in 2012. The new library more than doubles the square footage of the old one. Further, the library was expected to open in 2014 after breaking ground in 2012, but a number of delays pushed the completion into the fall of 2016; though no opening date is set. Setting aside the orange construction fencing, the library looks done from the outside, even down to the landscaping. It's so done-looking, there's a hand-painted "Closed" sign in front of the entrance doors (photo above).

The architects assert that the library "provides state-of-the-art technology and inviting, comfortable spaces with careful attention to material qualities, durability, and acoustics." Articles on the library echo these sentiments, so it seems like a visit to the library after it opens is in order, to determine just how state-of-the-art and such a branch library can be. So stay tuned for another post on the Elmhurst Branch Library once I make another visit.

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