Opening of New Brooklyn Heights Public Library Delayed Until Summer ’21

According to a detailed report by Kevin Duggan at the Brooklyn Paper, the opening of the new Brooklyn Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public Library is delayed until Summer 2021. The one-year delay from the original target opening date is due to stalled and slowed construction caused by the pandemic. When all done, the library will feature:

A main hall stretching through the length of the ground floor from Cadman Plaza West to Clinton St.


A “teen space” and conference rooms on the mezzanine floor.


A children’s space on the basement level.


A reading circle, built as a casual space for working, reading, and socializing.


There will also be a STEM lab run exclusively by the NYC Dep’t of Education.

As promised, the six bas-reliefs by Italian sculptor Clemente Spampinato, that adorned the old library’s facade, have been preserved. Two of the panels will be installed in the new library’s conference rooms and will be visible from Clinton Street. The remaining four will be placed in the Walt Whitman branch’s new outdoor garden in Fort Greene, which will open in 2023 or 2024.

Brooklyn Heights Library

Meanwhile, members will be able to pick up and return books at the Brooklyn Historical Society beginning in December, while the temporary Remsen St. location remains closed.

The Brooklyn Public Library will also open its first Dumbo-Vinegar Hill branch next Summer on Adams St. between John and Plymouth Sts.

(All photos of renderings courtesy of Brooklyn Public Library.)

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  • Andrew Porter

    I see stairways in two of the photos above. Surely library architects have to meet accessibility standards for new construction?

  • Heightsguy77

    You’re not allowed to have stairs anymore? What is this, the Midwest where everything is flat and we live in ranches??? Shoutout to Martin Short in snl.

  • Arch Stanton

    Yep there’s a newfangled gadget called an elevator.

  • Andrew Porter

    Has everyone forgotten what happened with the new Hunter’s Point Library in Queens, less than a year ago? See

  • Jorale-man

    I can’t vouch for the elevators, or lack thereof, but I seem to recall there was supposed to be a food court in the basement of this building too. I wonder if that will go ahead now that food courts are not exactly places to congregate. At least for the time being.

  • meschwar

    That was a crazy elevator-proof design. I don’t see anything here remotely like that.

  • Arch Stanton

    That building does have elevators, just not to the 3 “Bookshelf landings” along the staircase. An architectural faux pas for sure.

  • Arch Stanton

    Are they going to have a special section for the homeless to watch porn sites?

  • Banet

    No food court. A few food-related businesses on the Clinton Street side.

  • Cranberry Beret

    I was wondering about this. Why on earth on Clinton? To the extent there’s any foot traffic at all near this 1950s monster of an auto-centric intersection, it’s on the Cadman Plaza side.

  • Banet

    Got me. I guess the Cadman side is taken up with the lobby, the library and the parking lot entrance. (Is there a lot?)

  • MaggieO

    you’ve got Saint Ann’s school across Clinton, a couple big apartment buildings, tons of bicycle traffic, walkers, etc going to and from Cadman Plaza Park, seems legit to me.

  • Jorale-man

    I see they’re currently planning a Brooklyn Roasting Company branch and a “Smorgasburg cafe” there.

    Both sound great to me. I agree with Cranberry, the block isn’t so pedestrian-friendly – kind of lonely and windswept. But maybe this will help turn it around now?

  • Cranberry Beret

    I hope whatever lands there succeeds. (Brooklyn Roasting filed for bankruptcy a few weeks ago.) It’d be nice to see some retail return. However, one small outpost is going to have tough odds when the rest of the block was stripped of its retail over the last 50-60 years.

  • Cranberry Beret

    A storefront or signage visible to park-goers in Cadman would be helpful, IMO. I still think there’s more foot activity over there than on Clinton itself

    Besides, unless they have a stoop for St Ann’s kids to smoke on, they won’t be interested :)

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Arch, I didn’t want your quip to go entirely to crickets. I confess, it got a snort out of me.

    *now stony faced* If we housed them they could watch porn at home like everybody else. I wonder how many units sit vacant in our beautiful city.

  • Arch Stanton

    Agreed, Our society should do better to help the homeless. However, that’s a bigger conversation beyond the scope of this joke…

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Agreed, and that’s why the “serious” part of my reply was also delivered somewhat jokingly. Internet humor takes some expert piloting skills, man

  • Jorale-man

    Part of the problem with that side of the block is the Korean War Veteran’s Plaza has been left to decay and become overrun with vagrants and grown up in weeds. Cross Tillary Street and the park is much livelier but the area around the Post Office is a no-go zone right now.

  • Andrew Porter

    Since the construction of the new tower, that block has become a wind tunnel, right up there with the corners of Court/Montague and Hicks/Montague.

  • Andrew Porter

    What that side of the block looked like in 1940 (courtesy the Municipal Archives):