NYPL to Upgrade the Hamilton Fish Park Branch Library on East Houston
The New York Public Library is poised to upgrade one of its Lower East Side facilities. Up next, the Hamilton Fish Park branch on East Houston Street.
Built in 1960, the Hamilton Fish branch is a one-story brick masonry building sitting in a shared complex with the gifted academic enterprise, New Explorations into Science Technology and Math High School (aka Nest+M), which made local headlines earlier this year due to the discovery of elevated lead levels in the drinking water.
Overall goal of the project is to “enhance the Library’s street presence and visibility to the community, while providing more natural light for the library.” Highlights include new ADA accesible main entrance and restrooms, plus facade renovation, HVAC installation, and total interior remodling.
The Department of Design and Construction tapped Rice + Lipka Architects to redesign the library. They’re currently in the design and development phase, and will seek approval from Community Board 3 tomorrow evening for project approval. According to the presentation materials submitted, tentative timeline is design completion in spring 2018 and groundbreak in 2019. So, it’ll have to wait until at least the ’20s…
The Hamilton Fish Park library is named for distinguished American statesman Hamilton Fish (1808–93), who was both governor of New York and secretary of state under Ulysses S. Grant. The original facility was a Beaux-Arts building that opened in February 1909, but was later demolished to make way for the FDR Drive and widened East Houston. What stands at 415 East Houston now is the second iteration of the library branch, constructed and completed in 1960.