Borough Board Drops Last Barrier to Brooklyn Heights Library Deal

Take a last look at the facade of the Brooklyn Heights Branch of Brooklyn Public Library, with its captivating (to this writer) WPA-ish (though of 1960s vintage) friezes that, over the course of the next year are to be reduced to rubble, and replaced by a new library in the base of a high rise residential and commercial building that, in its design, pays some homage to a Manhattan icon that’s over a century old, Daniel Burnham’s Flatiron Building. Despite allegations that it was a “sweetheart deal” involving the Mayor and a contributor, and accusations that the BPL has misrepresented its financial position to justify this and other real estate deals, Carroll Gardens Patch reports that today the Brooklyn Borough Board, which a month ago had postponed action on the matter, decided to approve the sale and re-development. The Board, which consists of Borough President Eric Adams, all City Council members from Brooklyn, and the chairs of all Brooklyn Community Boards, probably relied heavily on the prior approvals of the deal by Community Board 2, in the district of which the library is located, and Council Member Steve Levin, whose district includes the library, and who negotiated changes to the deal that helped it secure City Council approval.

According to the Patch story, Brooklyn Heights resident Michael D.D. White, of Citizens Defending Libraries, which has fiercely opposed this and other real estate deals involving libraries, “tried to interject” just before the Board voted, but was cut short by B.P. Adams, who said, “You’re not going to disrupt my meeting.”

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  • Jeffrey Smith

    What did anyone expect? If you refuse to sweep the streets of rabid animals, you and you family will be bitten. If you allow incompetents and the corrupt to represent your interests you will be robbed of, over time, everything you have.
    The lazy and foolish are always walked on.

    If you would avoid further thefts replace laxity with watchfulness and develop
    the bravery a state of safety first demands.


    Where would readers go during the construction period? Is there a recommended branch that is within walking distance?

  • Reggie

    During construction, a small interim library will be open in the fellowship hall of Our Lady of Lebanon Church, Remsen Street between Henry and Clinton Streets.

  • Andrew Porter

    I hope the friezes are cut out and preserved, somewhere.

  • Citizens Defending Libraries

    Thanks for the info Reggie. If BPL or Hudson’s PR team isn’t paying you, they should…

  • Reggie

    You know, if FoodArtforKids came back with sarcasm, then I would assume they didn’t appreciate the information. You, I realize, just need to always stay on message.


    Thanks for the useful info!

  • Jeffrey Smith

    Well Reggie, person anyone for taking exception to people treating a rape in softened terms and tones.

    Here we have an amazing distraction/theft and what is going to be huge lessening in the security and safety of the Heights and everyone is supposed to be in perfect good humor about this? Besides the loss of a perfectly viable historic building and a corruption scandal which makes what happened in the Queens library system look like a minor incident, were looking at a 30+ story tower with all the downgrades of safety and comfort/function of the area. And someone wants to treat that in com-
    forging tones an no one is supposed to take strong exception to that?

  • Reggie

    That is just absurd, not to mention syntactically creative.


    FoodArtforKids is never sarcastic and is always appreciative!

  • Big Jeff Smith

    That’s a side step, not only of what I said, but the broader reality of what is actually occurring here. Directly, what do you think is wrong with what I said? Besides your soft toned platitudes, what can you (honestly) refute in what I said.