City Approves Demolition of Former Brooklyn Heights Branch Library

The Eagle reports that the City’s Department of Buildings has approved the application of the developer Hudson Companies to demolish what had been the Brooklyn Heights Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. The building has been vacant since late July, when staff and contents were moved to an interim facility in Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral, at 109 Remsen Street, pending Hudson’s construction of a new library to be housed in a 36 story mixed use residential and commercial building at the site of the former library, 280 Cadman Plaza West.

The Eagle story notes that some local residents, including BHB reader and commenter Justine Swartz, have raised concerns about preliminary work already underway at the site possibly causing asbestos contamination. A Hudson spokesperson said that the asbestos abatement work has not yet begun, and will be conducted in accordance with strict City Department of Environmental Protection standards. State Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon responded to concerns and contacted Hudson, who took her on a walk through the site. According to the Eagle, she agrees with those potentially affected that there are “legitimate concerns”, but also believes that “the developer and the library are taking them very seriously” and that DEP officials will be vigilant in enforcing compliance with regulations.

The Eagle also notes that the DOB’s approval comes before Hudson has closed on the purchase of the property, but quotes a Hudson spokesperson as saying ” it’s important to Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) to get the project started so that the new larger [presumably this means larger than the interim facility] library can be open to the public as soon as possible.” In addition, “[s]hould the project cease for any reason, Hudson is required to restore the site to the pre‐demolition state (minus the asbestos) at its own cost.”

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  • martin schneider

    We hope that Kramer/Marvel and company will find a way to preserve and reuse the four monumental intalgio carvings which grace and memorialize the history of this place.

  • DIBS

    That would be nice.

  • Justine Swartz
  • DIBS

    Looks like a plan, Justine. Try not to get in the way with frivolous lawsuits.

  • Justine Swartz

    Que sera sera.



  • Arch Stanton

    As I recall, they said they wouldn’t be able to save them.

  • Concerned

    You don’t know what a frivolous lawsuit is, DIBS. People like you like to throw that label around without having any idea about the law.

  • Andrew Porter

    What really impresses me is that with the library very obviously closed and vacant, idiots at various newspaper delivery companies continue to place new bundles of their papers in front of the entrance, although the old, ragged bundles are still there, unopened.

    I wonder if they’ll continue with the deliveries as the place is slowly razed?

  • Claude Scales

    In the comment thread to the post linked below, Robert Perris, Executive Director of Community Board 2, said “I was told today that the reliefs will be removed from the exterior building, with some to be incorporated into the new neighborhood branch library and (a) home(s) found for the others, with the Brooklyn Museum given as an example of a possible destination.”

  • B.

    Hard to imagine giving permission to begin demolition when, pre-closing, after all, the City hasn’t seen the money yet.

    No one would do that when selling a home.

    Well, I suppose somewhere along the way someone has seen some money pass hands in one form or another.

  • mary

    thank you David Kramer.. since you tried your end run around the investigations et al.. our fundraising numbers have gone through the roof.. We are just getting started !!!
    contribute to stop Kramer destruction now
    now on facebook

  • mary

    keep hoping

  • mary

    this is far from over.. many many papers to accumulate all winter long

  • mary

    see you in court

  • sue

    Robert Perris is bought and paid for.. He keeps trying to get a job with real estate buy no one will have him so he is stuck at CB2

  • DIBS

    How the hell do you know what I know you annoying pompous twit?

  • DIBS

    Good luck with that. ime and money later you will have wasted both.

  • JS-1

    Look folks, the ONLY way the Heights community is going to stop assaults or disasters like this is a fund to make evidence of serious wrongdoing in the major RE field be brought ford and a series of serious prosecutions, especially on a federal level, results. Forget court cases. Put your money towards a evidence fund. You’ll see how fast the nonsense stops….

    Don’t kid yourselves…this IS the way things work…

  • Robert Perris

    Sue, please be specific about which real estate firms I have had any conversations with about employment. Thanks, Rob