Jazz, crafts, face-painting, lions made out of LEGO and more will all be part of an all-day celebration on Tuesday, June 28 welcoming The New York Public Library’s newest community location – the brand new Kingsbridge Library, located at 291 West 231st Street in The Bronx.
The 12,625-square-foot, two-story building designed by Pendergast Laurel Architects will hold over 20,000 collection items, nearly 40 computers and have free Internet and wi-fi access. It will also offer an outdoor garden, large windows for bright natural light, a multipurpose community room with a television and projector, a teen area, a children’s story hour room and The New York Public Library’s first green roof, which will catch and reuse a percentage of rain water that would normally go into the city’s sewer system.
"I am delighted that this new, state-of-the-art library is opening its doors to the Kingsbridge community, which has long cherished its library and is using it more than ever for reading, classes, and community events," said NYPL President Paul LeClerc. "This new building is nearly double the size of the former Kingsbridge and contains the most recent and advanced technology and materials, making it better suited to meet the growing needs of the neighborhood. I've known this community since I was in grammar school because my great-aunt, Sister Saint George, lived in the convent right near the old library. So seeing the community get the most beautiful new library in the City has deep personal significance for me. I am leaving the Library this month after 17 wonderful years as president, and I am proud that my grand finale is the opening of this beautiful location. "
The new, $17.7 million building replaces the Library’s former Kingsbridge site, a rented, 6,857-square-foot space across the street. The Library has operated from that building since 1959. Before that, Kingsbridge – one of the first public libraries built in The Bronx dating back to 1905 – was in a building designed by McKim, Mead & White.
“The Kingsbridge branch library is a vital part of this community,” said Anne L. Coriston, NYPL Vice President For Public Service. “As circulation has increased and attendance has grown beyond the capacity of the old branch we needed a newer, larger, state of the art library to accommodate the community’s increasing needs for diverse materials, the latest technology and a community space to offer programs for all ages. I am extremely proud to unveil the beautiful, brand new Kingsbridge library that this community deserves; we hope it exceeds their expectations.”
The Kingsbridge Library will be open Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Construction began on the new Kingsbridge Library in July 2009. It could not have been built without the help and support of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, City Council Member G. Oliver Koppell, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., State Senator Gustavo Rivera, State Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Congressman Eliot Engel, New York City Department of Design and Construction Commissioner David Burney, former City Council Member June M. Eisland, former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, New York State Education Department – New York State Library, the Estate of Patricia Pharr Kozma, Bronx Community Board 8.
“I am delighted to have allocated substantial discretionary funds to the Kingsbridge Library Project,” said City Councilman Oliver Koppell. “It is a wonderful addition to our neighborhood and will bring important resources to constituents of all ages.”
“I am thrilled that, after years of planning and construction, the new Kingsbridge Library is open for business,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. “This new amenity will not only provide a state-of-the-art experience for library patrons, it will also drive traffic to the Kingsbridge business community. This project is a win-win for the northwest Bronx.”
The community will have a chance to welcome the new location on Tuesday, June 28, with an all-day celebration that includes a ribbon-cutting ceremony, face-painting, a jazz concert, a discussion on the history of the neighborhood, balloon animals and free refreshments throughout the day, including mini-cupcakes from Leila’s Hand-Dipped Chocolate and pizza from Bari Pizzeria & Restaurant. Both are local businesses.
Also on hand will be two lions made out of LEGO blocks, created by LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya. The sculptures are LEGO versions of the iconic marble lions Patience and Fortitude, who sit outside the Library’s landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
A full listing of events is below:
Grand Opening Celebration
Tuesday, June 28
10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Free and open to the public
291 West 231st Street , The Bronx
Opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting, with elected officials and special guests.
Magic show for kids by Magic Evan
12 to 2 p.m.
Face painting and balloon sculptures by The Big Apple Circus, as well as crafts for kids
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
The origins of Kingsbridge with Bronx Borough Historian Lloyd Ultan
Interactive concert for children by Presley and Melody
2 to 4 p.m.
Gaming for teens
Mosaic Candle Crafts for teens
Author discussion with Steven Torres
About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. Its renowned research collections are located in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem; and the Science, Industry and Business Library at 34th Street and Madison Avenue. Nearly 90 branch libraries provide access to circulating collections and a wide range of other services in neighborhoods throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English for speakers of other languages. All in all The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org.
Contact: Angela Montefinise | 212.592.7506 | email@example.com