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.

Queens Gazette: Dromm Gets Signed Images Of America Jackson Heights

Councilmember Daniel Dromm (c.) was visited by area authors/historians Constantine E. Theodosiou (l.) and Jason D. Antos (r.) at his office where he was presented with a copy of their latest book, Images of America: Jackson Heights. The councilmember wrote the forward to the book, which features more than 100 archival photographs of Jackson Heights’ progression from isolated farmland to a major urban center.

Read more:

FOX5: Hate Crimes At Queens Libraries and Jewish Temple

From FOX5:

Swastikas were found painted on the facades of the Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst branches of the Queens Library and on the door of Congregation Tifereth Israel on Thursday.

The Anti-Defamation League today condemned the anti-Semitic graffiti. The ADL says there were 133 anti-Jewish incidents reported across New York City in 2010.

A nationwide ADL survey released just yesterday found that anti-Semitic attitudes have risen in America.

The ADL survey found that 15 percent of Americans – nearly 35 million adults – hold deeply anti-Semitic views. That’s up three percent from 2009.

“The fact that anti-Semitic attitudes have increased significantly over the past two years is troubling and raises questions about the impact of broader trends in America – financial insecurity, social uncertainty, the decline in civility and the growth of polarization – on attitudes toward Jews,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.

19-percent answered “probably true” to the statement “Jews have too much control/influence on Wall Street,” an increase from 14-percent in 2009.

Several cases of anti-Semitism have been documented at various Occupy Wall Street across the country.

The survey also found that anti-Semitic views among the African-American population have remained steady, but are consistently higher than the general population.

In 2011, 29-percent of African-Americans expressed strongly anti-Semitic views, according to the survey.

PIX11: Community Outraged After Queens Vandals Spray Paint Swastikas

From PIX11:

Police are looking for vandals who spray-painted several libraries and a synagogue and may have been captured on surveillance footage.

“There was an incident back in July, never reported to police, but on tape. We want police to look at that tape,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm at a rally called by dozens of City leaders to crack down on the culprits.

“I don’t understand how this could happen right under their noses,” said Helen Marshall, the Borough President of Queens, about a police tower just feet away from the Jackson Heights Public Library where one of four swastikas was spray-painted.

Dromm says the vandals struck Wednesday night, and by Friday morning all locations were cleaned up.

“The children are innocent and they should not be exposed to such hatred,” said Fanny Vargas, a mother of a student outside the synagogue struck by hate on 88th street. A piece of poster board was placed over the swastika and no one from the synagogue wanted to speak to PIX11 News.

City leaders say they believe the suspects are teenagers. A three thousand dollar reward was gathered by various city leaders for any information that will lead to an arrest in the case. If you have any information you are urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-577-tips.

The Queens district Attorney’s office says penalties for such hate crimes vary. “Shame shame on you. We will find you,” said N.Y.C. Council Member Karen Koslowitz.

NY1: Swastika Graffiti Discovered In Brooklyn As Officials Denounce Similar Queens Incident

From NY1:

A $2,500 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of whoever has been spray-painting swastikas in Queens.

Investigators say a total of five swastikas were sprayed on the East Elmhurst and Jackson Heights branches of the Queens Library. Another was spray-painted on the door of a synagogue in Jackson Heights.

Investigators believe the incidents are related.

Elected officials say the crime nearly happened right in front of the New York City Police Department.

“Up until this morning, the NYPD had a tower, a lift right over there on that corner, and this hate crime happened under their nose, literally. It’s not but 20 feet from here. Both sides of the street had been cleared of cars so that the police could be over there,” said City Councilman Daniel Dromm.

“We have to stand up and send a clear message to whoever is doing this. You will be caught and we will prosecute you to the full extent of the law. This community will not tolerate it,” said State Assembly Candidate Francisco Moya.

Police say their tower was 150 yards away and that the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

The Hate Crimes Task Force is also investigating another swastika painted on a sidewalk in Brooklyn.

It was sprayed near the corner of Berry and 10th Streets in Williamsburg.

Someone appears to have covered the swastika with white paint.

Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit

ABC7: Swastika graffiti angers Queens community

From ABC7:

Police in Queens are investigating the discovery of swastikas painted on three buildings Thursday morning.

Spray painted anti-Semitic hate was discovered on a couple public libraries and the Tefereth Israel Synagogue on 88th Street. Someone spray-painted the lens of a surveillance camera to avoid detection.

Police believe the incidents in three separate locations are related. They are being investigated by the hate crimes taskforce.

The swastikas have since been removed. Community leaders denounced the crime during a news conference on Friday.

Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit