New Environmentally Friendly Greenpoint Public Library Is Making Headway on Norman Avenue


A long-delayed new library in Greenpoint is creeping, ever so slowly, toward completion.

Located at 107 Norman Avenue, at the corner of McGuinness Boulevard, it replaces an old one-story library at the site that was demolished in 2017. The interior space will more than double, and part of the library will be an Environmental Education Center.

When we visited last weekend, the new building’s structure was in place, draped in a white tarp. The green construction fence around the ground floor is still in place.

greenpoint public library

The new library, designed by Scott Marble of Marble Fairbanks, will be two stories with a one-level bump up in the back. Part of the front facade will be glass, with an overhang at the entrance. At the front, facing Norman Avenue, there will be an outdoor plaza, and outdoor teaching space will be available on the second floor.

Rendering by Marble Fairbanks

Marble Fairbanks also designed Manhattan’s The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for the New York Public Library, the Cooperman Library at Hunter College and Glen Oaks Library in Queens.

greenpoint public library

In 2014, the Brooklyn Public Library received a $5 million grant from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, a state-run program that manages the $19.5 million settlement awarded to the state over the ExxonMobil oil spill in Newtown Creek. Another $1.8 million came from the NY State Education Department and over $14 million from Library and City capital funding.

greenpoint public library

The library in 2014. Photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark

The project was originally slated to open in 2018. Construction was stalled in October 2018 because of the “discovery of subsurface asbestos during construction” as well as “the unexpected discovery of remnants of the original Carnegie Library,” a representative from the Brooklyn Public Library told Bklyner.

On January 31, a stop work order was placed on the site. The reason was a failure to “provide [a] construction superintendent and competent person” as required. Nine days later, the stop work order was “fully rescinded,” according to building permits.

A summer completion date, still on the Brooklyn Public Library’s website and posted on site, has slipped to this fall, Greenpointers reported public library officials said at a public meeting last week.

[Photos by Craig Hubert unless otherwise noted]

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