Coney library finally turns the page on Sandy

Coney library finally turns the page on Sandy
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Call it the reading rainbow after the storm.

The books — and doors — reopened at the Coney Island library on Oct. 23, almost a year after Hurricane Sandy washed 102-year-old institution off the page.

The Brooklyn Public Library system said that the branch at the corner of W. 19th Street and Mermaid Avenue were the worst hit of all the libraries in the borough — requiring more than $2 million to replace plumbing, flooring, computers, electrical wiring, and thousands of books.

“The damage was pretty much total,” said spokeswoman Emma Woods.

Library 2.0: The Coney Island branch now has brand new computers.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

But Woods said that a far better branch has risen from the wreckage. The library now boasts all new furniture, computers, printers and books, plus wheelchair-accessible bathrooms. The redesign has also carved out four new rooms inside the building for meetings and programs.

The rehabbed library even looks prettier, with a piece of ceiling artwork in the main corridor made from salvaged pieces of the Coney Boardwalk, and a mosaic mural of classic People’s Playground photographs.

“I think people are really going to be happy and impressed with how we’ve repaired and improved the branch,” said Woods.

The reopening finally marks the full recovery of the Brooklyn Public Library system from the devastation of last year’s superstorm. The Sandy-slammed Red Hook library reopened in April, while the shattered Gerritsen Beach branch turned the page in September.

Open for business — Finally: The Coney Island branch was the last in the borough’s library system to reopen after being shuttered by Sandy.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him attwitter.com/WillBredderman.