Central Library, QBPL, Queens
89-11 Merrick Boulevard
Kiff, Colean, Voss & Souder, the Office of York & Sawyer, 1966;
renovation: Gensler, 2013;
Children’s Library Discovery Center: 1100 Architect and Lee H. Skolnick Architecture and Design Partnership, 2011
In the early 1960s, when an expansion of the four-story, Georgian Revival style Central Library at 89-14 Parsons Boulevard was deemed necessary, an entirely new building was planned instead. The old building, completed in 1931, was repurposed as a courthouse, and has since been replaced by a large apartment building. Located six blocks to the east, the new Central Library was lauded for its functional and streamlined approach to book circulation, with supermarket-like checkout counters and conveyor belts and electric dumbwaiters for book returns. The library includes a large collection on the history of Queens and Long Island. Its simple exterior features two wall-mounted reliefs by sculptor Milton Hebald. In 2011, the Children’s Library Discovery Center wing was added on 90th Avenue, and in 2013, renovations to the main building, including glass at the recessed entryway, were completed.