Meeting to Discuss Preservation of the Elmhurst Carnegie Library

Elmhurst’s “Carnegie” Library (86-01 Broadway), which has celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006, is now imminently endangered. This is one of the few potential landmarks left in Elmhurst with the rampant and tasteless development, and sites of nominal significance. A proposal is being considered that would replace this architectural, cultural, & historical gem in its entirety with a new & larger facility. The architects have considered a few options initially:
1. Building an addition to the existing library, but they encountered difficulty in extending the floor plates.
2. Preservation of the facade by incorporating it into the new design, but they felt it would be too costly.

The Elmhurst Library was funded by Andrew Carnegie. Construction began in 1904, it opened on March 31, 1906, and was designed in the Georgian Revival style. Furthermore, this is the only surviving Carnegie branch in Queens designed by the architectural firm, Lord & Hewlett, and it is a noteworthy remaining example of their work. There were 7 Carnegie branches in Queens originally, but they are few & far between today.

The Newtown Civic Association is holding a public meeting on Monday, May 21st at 8 PM at Elmhurst Memorial Hall. It will feature a presentation by the architects, followed by Kim Kindya of the Queens Preservation Council. This will give community residents, the Queens Public Library, our elected officials, & borough-wide preservationists, a chance to weigh in on both sides of the story.

Please attend the meeting, & learn about methods in which the Elmhurst Carnegie Library can undergo the much-needed expansion, without compromising the building’s historic integrity. It’s been proven numerous times that preservation & development can co-exist. Help save a piece of history! Circa 1910 hand-colored postcard:

For More Info:
Elmhurst Memorial Hall
88-24 43rd Ave
(718) 429-9298

The intersection is Whitney Ave & 43rd Ave, which is a couple of blocks from the Elmhurst Ave subway stop on the R,V, G lines.

Posted Under: Alert, Elmhurst, Public Building, Queens

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