December 16, 2013
On Monday, December 16, the Mariners Harbor neighborhood of Staten Island welcomed a new community library with a highly anticipated ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event was attended by an excited crowd who heard speeches from City officials and leaders of the New York Public Library, followed by a performance from the students of the famed P.S. 122 choir.
The one-story, 10,000-square-foot library offers reading areas for adults, kids and teens, multiple computer stations with Wi-Fi, an outdoor terrace, and a meeting room for classes and events. Colorful furnishings and an open plan—free of partitions—add to the lively, communal feel of the space.
Architecture firm Atelier Pagnamaenta Torriani incorporated the neighborhood’s maritime history with a design inspired by a cracked oyster shell—darker on the outside and lighter within. Large glass windows on the front and back of the structure ensure that patrons will be able to read with the help of abundant natural light. The energy-efficient design achieved LEED Silver certification, and received the Award for Excellence in Design from the Public Design Commission of the City of New York in 2009. "This terrific design reflects a shift in library architecture from the austere institutions of old to the transparent, community-based facilities of today,” said DDC Commissioner David Burney. “It was a pleasure to work with our colleagues at the New York Public Library to deliver this much-needed addition to the Mariners Harbor community."
Previously, Marine Harbor residents had to travel more than two miles—an hour by public transit—to get to the nearest branch library. Now, this much-needed facility aims to be a long-lasting community center in the fastest-growing borough of New York City.