LOWER EAST SIDE — The Hamilton Fish Park Branch of the New York Public Library will reopen with a host of upgrades in 2020 after an extensive makeover, flooding the building with natural light and bringing in renovated reading and community spaces.
The branch at 415 E. Houston St. will shutter for more than a year starting tentatively in spring 2019 to make way for the upgrades, according to New York Public Library Vice President of Capital Planning and Construction Risa Honig, who presented a preliminary design for the plan at Community Board 3's Parks Committee meeting Thursday.
The renovations include installing large, fully transparent windows along the Houston Street facade to improve the currently dimly-light building with sunlight, said Honig.
"The proposed renovation is to open up the library as much as possible to provide more daylight," she said.
A rendering showing the proposed redesign of the Hamilton Fish Park Library. (Rice+Lipka Architects)
Additionally, the library's entrance and restrooms will be made wheelchair accessible, said Honig, and the facility will be fitted with a larger community room. There will also be an improved children's room, an adult reading room and completely renovated restrooms.
The design for the library is expected to be finalized spring 2018, and construction will kick off roughly a year later.
Construction is expected to last 14 to 18 months, during which time the branch would be closed, said Honig, though she stressed that the timeline is subject to change.
During the temporary closure, the library will partner with nearby branches to ensure community members have access to the services they need, said Honig.
"We'll look at the nearest libraries and programs and work closely with the other libraries to make sure our patrons can access the programs," she said.
A presentation on the proposed renovations can be viewed here.