Brand new, $32.4 million Elmhurst Community Library opens

By Bill Parry

Originally published by the Times Ledger on December 23, 2016

Courtesy of NYC Department of Design and Construction. Hundred of Elmhurst residents wach elected and Queens Library officials cut the ribbon opening the new Elmhurst Community Library.

Courtesy of NYC Department of Design and Construction.
Hundred of Elmhurst residents wach elected and Queens Library officials cut the ribbon opening the new Elmhurst Community Library.

Elmhurst has its library back and hundreds of community members turned out for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and flag-raising Tuesday.

The new $32.4 million Elmhurst Community Library at 86-01 Broadway is nearly double the size of the original at 32,000 square feet, with four fully accessible levels for library service, separate adult, teen and children’s library spaces, and an adult learning center on its own level.

“The new Elmhurst Community Library is a direct response to the changing needs and demographics of a vibrant, diverse neighborho­od,” Queens Library President Dennis Walcott said. “We expect it to be one of the most heavily trafficked libraries in our system and one of the busiest in the country, with an estimated 1.1 million children coming here to learn, dream, explore and get what they need to navigate through life.”

The English language collection includes 75,000 books and multimedia items and an additional 36,000 books in nine languages. Construction of the new terraclad structure began in 2011 and it replaces the smaller library built in 1906.

“The Elmhurst Library is back and better than ever. I welcome this beautiful state-of-the-art facility into the community,” City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) said. “Libraries are a vital part of every New York City neighborhood. They connect our children with the resources they need to learn and offer them a quiet place to study. Libraries also serve as community centers for our seniors. This new and improved building will ensure that the Queens Library continues to meet the needs of the Elmhurst community.”

Borough President Melinda Katz, whose office allocated funds, credited former Borough President Helen Marshall for providing more than $18 million toward the project.

“It really is taxpayer money going right back into the community,” Katz said. “The new Elmhurst Library is a magnificent facility that will become a center of learning, literacy and culture for residents of all ages for decades to come.”

The new building includes 13,000 square feet of outdoor space with two green roofs, a learning garden and features a sleek and modern glass cube reading room. A fireplace mantle from the original library was moved into the new children’s room and brickwork from its original facade surround the foyer at the Broadway entrance all designed by Marpillero Pollak Architects and overseen by the city Department of Design and Construction.

“We were impressed by the intensity with which the local community used the library: as a venue for social gathering, interaction between generations, educational facility, news and information source, Internet access, cultural setting and, of course, as a reading and books borrowing outlet,” Marpillero Pollak Architects Principal Linda Pollak said. “Whenever we visited in the morning, there would be a large group of patrons outside, waiting for the library to open. It was clear that the library needed to expand in order to accommodate the community that places so much importance on it.”

Read more here.

Ny1: Touring Daniel Dromm’s District

NY1 VIDEO: The Road to City Hall’s Errol Louis visited City Councilman Daniel Dromm’s 25th city council district in Queens.

Daily News: Long Island Rail Road could arrive in Elmhurst

It could be all aboard the Long Island Rail Road in Elmhurst if local lawmakers have their way.
LIRR officials will begin a month-long survey next week to see if it makes financial sense to reopen the neighborhood’s long-shuttered, overhead station.
(L-R) Congressman Joseph Crowley, Council Member Daniel Dromm and LIRR President Helena Williams take a walking tour around the former Elmhurst LIRR Station in Elmhurst in 2012.
“It’s a worthwhile investment,” said City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights.) “It would be a big transportation and economic development boost for the area.”
A surge of new residents have moved into Elmhurst in recent years, Dromm said, leading to more crowded trains and buses.
That’s why he’s confident locals would be willing to shell out the $8 per ride during peak hours for a faster, more comfortable trip to Manhattan. Straphangers currently shell out $2.50 for a subway or bus ride.
“People would be willing to pay a little bit more for the convenience of knowing when the train was going to arrive,” Dromm said. “We have some major employers in that area — such as the Elmhurst Hospital [Center] and the Queens Center Mall.”
LIRR officials said the future of the $30 million project won’t be decided until at least 2015.
The station was closed in 1985 because of low ridership, LIRR officials previously said. But trains on the Port Washington line still pass through it on the way to Manhattan.
Dromm and Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens, Bronx) approached the LIRR to reopen the station in early 2012.
“This is an important first step,” LIRR President Helena Williams said in a statement.
The agency will mail a written questionnaire to nearby homes and have representatives in the neighborhood question pedestrians about their modes of transportation.
Opening the station could alleviate the uncomfortable overcrowding on the area’s mass transit options, said Robert Valdes-Clausell, one of the directors of the Newtown Civic Association.
It could also help locals to get to and from other parts of Queens — and even Long Island.
“They should have reopened long ago,” said Rosemarie Poveromo, president of the nearby United Community Civic Association. “It’s convenient for the people in that immediate community.”

By Clare Trapasso
Read more:

NY1: MTA Considers Reopening Elmhurst LIRR Station

NY1 VIDEO: Working with Congressman Crowley and City Council Member Dromm, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is considering reopening a shuttered Long Island Rail Road station in Elmhurst, and is seeking residents’ feedback before making a decision via Elmhurst Travel Surveys.

See more at:–seeks-residents–input/#sthash.Mq0IKyT8.dpuf