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.”