The Battery Park Library finally opens today and it just so happens to be the greenest library branch of the New York Public Library system! Certified LEED Gold and built at the base of a LEED certified condominium high rise, the new community addition will certainly be a source of pride for area residents. The new library boasts the use of recycled materials, lots of high tech computer gadgetry to keep up with the times, and books, of course.
The new library was designed by 1100 Architects, and is located at the base of the Riverhouse, a luxury condominium high rise surrounded by green space at Rockefeller Park. Bao Ong of the NYTimes toured the library and reports that the 2-story building features “wood floors constructed from window frame scraps, old truck tires laid out as carpet, and a terrazzo staircase made of recycled glass and mirrors.” A large touch screen computer at the base of the stairs will show patrons how much energy and water is being consumed by the library. At a cost of $6.7 million, the library also includes 10 laptop computers for patrons to check out for use inside the library.
Due to budget cuts the new green library may only be open 3-4 days a week in order to cut down on energy and operational costs. Regardless, after 11 years in the making, Battery Park-ites are very excited about their new library space. Billy Parrot, the new library manager, says “I think they’ve been waiting so long for a library here, there’s just this sense of relief that it’s finally happening.” Naturally inside, there are a lot of books, but Parrot says, “A lot of people still have that stereotype that libraries are just books. We’re a lot more than that.”