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Long Island City’s $41M Hunters Point Library has a leaking problem

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Plus, a new bill would ban tourist helicopters in NYC—and more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup

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More issues pop up at Hunters Point Library

Last month, the long-delayed, $41 million Hunters Point Library, opened in Long Island City to much fanfare and glowing reviews. But only a week later, an issue came up: the structure has an accessibility problem—which the Queens Public Library has pledged to resolve. Now, according to the New York Post, the structure has another set of issues, which include leaky ceilings and cracks on some floors.

A librarian told the Post that there are leaks every time it rains, and that the reason for that may be a rooftop reading garden that has yet to open. Other issues include a quiet room that isn’t soundproof, problems with acoustics (sounds generating echoes), and a curved wall that had to be blocked off with bookshelves to prevent kids from getting hurt while climbing.

The librarian told the Post she wishes the place looked less like a museum and more like a library, with “more space, more shelves. I’d like for the floors to be open where you can see everyone and everything. It is best for their safety and our safety, too.”

The city’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) is completing minor work that’s left to do in the building and told the newspaper that the roof is complete and that it will open after being inspected by the Department of Buildings. Elizabeth de Bourbon, a spokesperson for Queens Public Library, said the institution is working with the DDC on addressing the issues.

And in other news...

  • A new bill introduced by three New York lawmakers would ban tourist and ride-sharing helicopters from flying within NYC airspace. The bill would “reduce helicopter traffic, improve safety, and cut down on noise,” according to a statement from the lawmakers. The piece of legislation comes after a fatal March 2018 site-seeing helicopter crash.
  • Despite objections from city politicians, neighbors, and activists, the state will issue a permit for a developer to turn Staten Island wetlands into a BJ’s Wholesale Club with a gas station, and parking space.
  • There will soon be many more green roofs across the five boroughs, as a new law, that will require new buildings to be topped by green spaces or solar panels, takes effect next month.
  • 1.5 million packages are delivered every day in New York City, but what comes at the price of convenience (and Amazon)? Traffic and pollution.
  • And, finally, the NYC subway turned 115 years old this past Sunday. Here’s a video of how it looked like in 1905, seven months after the system opened: