State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, State Assembly member Joan Millman and City Councilmembers Stephen Levin and Letitia James have sent letters to the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission supporting efforts to landmark the historic Pacific Branch Library.
The Brooklyn Public Library earlier this year proposed closing the library, at Pacific Street and Fourth Avenue, and moving its greatly needed resources to a new tower being proposed for the BAM South triangle across from the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The branch is also historically significant among local libraries — the first library to be built in the borough with funds from steel baron Andrew Carnegie, who also endowed the construction of hundreds of public libraries across the country.
In March, the Park Slope Civic Council unanimously passed a resolution urging the preservation of the Pacific Street branch, calling for landmark status for the structure and for services to remain at this underserved location.
The latest letters of support from elected officials are an important part of the landmark process, emphasizing widespread community endorsement of the application and the importance of the request.
“I am especially concerned that the community could lose a significantly historic structure, designed by well known architect Raymond Francis Almirall, who has several Beaux Arts buildings already designated as New York City landmarks,” Millman wrote. “An expedited approval of the Pacific Library Branch will ensure an important community landmark continues to contribute to the life and sense of place of the neighboring community.”
The library “serves local seniors, students from the neighborhood schools, residents of the nearby public housing communities, and provides a central meeting location for many civic organizations and other groups,” Levin wrote. “For almost 110 years, the Library has been an important institution and, while not officially designated, a community landmark for local families.”
“This may be a small structure, but it is an important building, and it faces near-certain demolition,” James added. “I ask that the Landmarks Preservation Commission act upon this [request for evaluation] immediately.”