Marcy Library, BK Reader, Robert E. Cornegy, Councilmember Cornegy, New York City Department of Design and Construction, library children's programs, Bedford Stuyvesant, Bed-Stuy, Bed-Stuy library, Bedford Stuyvesant Library, Lena Horne, Jay Z, Brooklyn Public Library, NYC libraries, Marcy Library renovations,
Photo credit: NYC DDC

While Marcy Library was closed, BPL refreshed and modernized it with paint, new tables, chairs and shelving, computers, enhanced lighting and a modern children’s area with an interactive activity wall.

Photo credit: NYC DDC

On Monday, Marcy Library finally reopened after an 18-month $1.5 million renovation.
Councilmember Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. joined Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) to celebrate Marcy Library’s reopening by reading a story to kindergarteners and first-grade students from the nearby PS 54.

“As centers of learning and community-building, libraries are an invaluable asset to our city,” said Cornegy. “I am extremely pleased to see it reopened today with improved facilities and even more tools to facilitate learning.”

While the branch was closed for the replacement of the HVAC system, BPL refreshed and modernized it with paint, new tables, chairs and shelving, additional computers, enhanced lighting and signage, and a modern children’s area with new furniture and an interactive activity wall. During the closure, BPL provided bookmobile services outside the branch and patrons were welcomed at nearby branches.

“We are delighted to be back in Marcy Library and thank Councilman Cornegy for his support of this project,” said Linda E. Johnson, president and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. “With a bright up-to-date interior and new HVAC system, we know patrons will enjoy this space for many years to come.”

Located in historic Bedford-Stuyvesant – the birthplace of many acclaimed performers, from Lena Horne to Jay-Z – Marcy Library serves a diverse community of long-time residents and recent arrivals to the neighborhood. Children’s programs draw crowds to Marcy, particularly those for toddlers and tweens, according to BPL.

Yet, Marcy Library began life under a different name and in a different location. The Tompkins Park Free Library, located in the center of its namesake, opened on June 6, 1899. The branch was assimilated into the new borough-wide system in 1901. By 1969, the community had outgrown the diminutive branch, and a new Marcy Library opened at its current location in March of that year.

“Marcy Library has been a great resource to the people of Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights for over 100 years, so it was important to me to ensure the funding necessary to make these upgrades was provided,” said Cornegy.

The New York City Department of Design and Construction (NYC DDC) oversaw and managed the $1.5 million replacement of the HVAC system, funded by the City of New York.

And Marcy Library is not the only branch undergoing overhauls: Over the next 10 years, including Marcy Library, one-third of BPL’s system will have been rebuilt or renovated.

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Andrea Leonhardt

“Made in Germany,” Andrea Leonhardt is the managing editor for BK Reader. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with minors in American studies and education, and a master’s...

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