Part of a former factory building on the Dumbo waterfront is set to be converted into a new branch for the Brooklyn Public Library. This will make it the 60th branch of the BPL, and also the first new branch, borough-wide, since 1983.
The library will take up 6,500 square feet of space on the ground floor of the red-brick building located at 135 Plymouth Street, and will have flexible programming space; laptops and desktops for work; and the traditional book-lending services, among other services.
“We are thrilled to begin work on the first new library in our system in almost forty years,” said Linda E. Johnson, the president and CEO of the Brooklyn Public Library. “Like every one of our branches, the Dumbo neighborhood library will be a place where the community can come together to read and learn.”
The library has brought on WorkAC to design the Dumbo library. Previously the firm has worked on the Kew Gardens Library, the redesign of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and P.S. 7 in East Harlem, among other public works.
WorkAC and the Brooklyn Public Library will now work with local residents to come up with a detailed design proposal for the space, which will have a focus on sustainable design. The new library has received the support of the City Council member representing the neighborhood, Stephen Levin.
“Libraries are an important part of the fabric of a community and this new Brooklyn Public Library location will be a welcomed addition to the DUMBO, Vinegar Hill and Farragut Houses neighborhoods,” said Levin, in a statement.
The building that the new library is in was originally built as a machine tools factory for the E.W. Bliss Machine Company around the turn of the 20th century. For the last several decades, the structure has operated as a live/work loft building. Work on the library portion of the building is set to wrap up in 2020, which is around the same time that the new home of the Brooklyn Heights library branch will debut. The Dumbo library is being partially funded through the deal BPL made with the developers on the Brooklyn Heights project.
Throughout its vast network, BPL is currently in the midst of major infrastructural improvements; Over the next several years, 13 of its branches will undergo full-scale renovations. In addition, three libraries—Brooklyn Heights, Greenpoint, and Sunset Park—will be completely rebuilt.