Park Slope’s busy public library branch will shut down this fall — perhaps for a year or more — while the city renovates the building to make it more accessible to the disabled, The Brooklyn Paper has learned.
But some bookworms are reading the riot act to the Brooklyn Public Library because they don’t want to be forced out of their literary haunt at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Ninth Street.
“It’s for worthwhile renovations,” said Brian Sulkow, who makes regular visits to the book repository with his wife and son, but “closing it for a year and a half is significant. It’s a community center. Kids go there after school. People take literacy classes there.”
It is unclear how long the library will be off-limits, but city officials said the project has a two-year maximum timeline. A contractor has already been hired for the $2-million renovation.
The majestic brick building was built in 1906 as part of Andrew Carnegie’s library philanthropy and includes classic period features such as Doric columns, fireplaces and stained-glass windows.
The building will get an elevator, an outdoor ramp and restrooms to accommodate handicapped visitors as well as an air-conditioning system.
A spokeswoman for Brooklyn Public Library declined to say when construction would shut the Park Slope branch but promised there would be a public meeting when the Library is ready to discuss its plans.
The project will start this fall, said Matthew Monahan, the assistant commissioner for the Department of Design and Construction.
©2009 Community News Group
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