NYC’s First LEED Certified Green Public Library Opens


Growing up, I spent countless hours at my local library immersed in the worlds of Anne Frank or Judy Blume. I’m still enamored with libraries, and the latest addition to the New York City Public Library system literally has me green with envy, making me wish I lived closer to Battery Park so I could take advantage.

Battery Park City’s public library branch is New York Public Library’s first LEED certified  Gold branch in Manhattan. The 10,000-square-foot, $6.7 million space opened on March 18. Every detail – from the recycled cardboard circulation desk to the terrazzo staircase made from recycled glass chips – was designed by the firm 1100 Architect to reflect an eco consciousness.

Naturally, there is a bit of political drama associated with the library opening, which was over a decade in the making. Critics say that Battery Park is already blessed with posh amenities, so perhaps a less fortunate neighborhood would have benefited more from a new library branch? Ultimately though, money talks, and when Goldman Sachs relocated to Battery Park fifteen years ago, the company donated $3.5 million to the new library branch. Sorry other neighborhoods in need of a library!

We can only hope that other library systems will take notice and adapt some of these green initiatives for their own branches.

Image: Punxutawneyphil