Renovating For The Future, Mourning The Past
Today the Washington Heights Branch Library, part of the New York Public Library System, reopened after a long 4-year renovation that cost $12.4 million. The branch also celebrated it’s 100th Birthday. The library is in a Carrère & Hastings building designed in 1914. The renovation and design is by Dattner Architects and Andrew Berman Architect.
The new design is focused on technology and seating, sadly it seems that books are no longer the main reason to visit the library. When I spoke with staff members about the lack of books in the branch I was told that you can browse the online catalog and have a book sent to the branch something which I do all the time. They also said you can borrow ebooks online which I also do.
Gone are the days of browsing, judging books by their covers and discovering new authors in the real world, it can all be done online. The library is no longer a physical world of books but a lounge and provider of wi-fi without the coffee. Sometimes things in the past were better - that is all.