Hunters Point Library in LIC gets September opening date after over a decade of advocacy and setbacks

Hunters Pt. Library delayed another year
Photo by Bill Parry

The Hunters Point Library will finally officially open in Long Island City next month with a special event planned by the Queens Public Library.

The project has had its ups and downs along the way. To date, the high mark for the project had been a topping off ceremony in early October 2016 that saw architect Steven Holl and elected officials looking back – even at that seemingly early stage – at the monumental effort just to get the project rolling.

The 22,000-square-foot structure at 47-40 Center Blvd. will be open to the public on Sept. 24.

“I’ve worked on this project since I was a staffer at the Queens Public Library. And while there have been moments of great frustration with delays, I know that generations of children and families will benefit because we stayed the course, invested the money, and saw this project to its completion,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “I’m proud to have allocated over $10 million toward this project and I want to thank all who made this moment possible, including those like Fausta Ippolito, who are no longer with us, but whose love for this library sustained me, even in the darkest of times.”

Ippolito was a Long Island City resident and mother of two who worked to gather signatures and support for with the nearest library being the one inside the CitiBank building. Ippolito died in 2011 of a rare form of cancer.

The names of early advocates for a library in Hunters Point, including Ippolito’s, were written on the inside of the uncompleted walls of the building during the 2016 topping off.

In total, the project was set to cost $38 million, but it is currently unclear as to what the price tag will be, as there was an extensive period of inactivity as the site lasting a number of months. The developers originally broke ground in May 2015 and had been expected to be completed in the summer of 2017.