Starting on Saturday, Oct. 27, the Steinway Library at 21-45 31st St. in Astoria, will close for renovations. The branch is expected to reopen in the fall of 2019.
“Residents in our community love this branch of the library and the renovations will make it even more appealing,” said Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas.
The majority of the work done on the library will be done to make the location more accessible for patrons with physical disabilities. In order to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, a new ramp will be installed at the front of the library on 31st Street. There are currently three libraries in the borough of Queens that are not at least partially handicap accessible —Astoria, Queens Village and Glendale. According to Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska, deputy communications director of Queens Library, the Glendale location will be ADA accessible once it reopens after renovations there are complete. There is also planned renovation for the 14-01 Astoria Boulevard location to make it accessible.
Other new amenities include a new external elevator tower that will serve all three floors which will be constructed in the building’s rear courtyard with steel tube framing with an aluminum framed curtain wall enclosure. The enclosure is made up of translucent glass panels to provide diffused light and views into the courtyard.
The second floor will be renovated and new offices will be created in the cellar of the library, according to Kern-Jedrychowska. It remains unclear as to what exactly will be done on the second floor besides accommodating the new elevator. In addition, a new roof will be installed, a book sorting station will be created and the masonry of the library will be fixed.
To increase efficiency, energy-efficient insulated glazing will be used at the new entrance and the roof will receive new insulation.
The library’s renovations will cost $3.9 million and comes after Borough President Melinda Katz secured $9.5 million in funding for three library projects in early August. Renovation was designed by Huff + Golden Architects under the New York City Department of Design and Construction’s Excellence 2.0 program.
Starting Nov. 3, mobile library service will be provided on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with full service available at nearby Queens Library locations, including Astoria (14-01 Astoria Blvd.), Broadway (40-20 Broadway) and Long Island City (37-44 21st St.)