A ceremony this afternoon in Staten Island celebrated the groundbreaking of the Charleston Branch of the New York Public Library, designed by ikon.5 architects.

Located in the new Bricktown Commons Shopping Center, the new 10,000-square-foot library is inspired by its cultural connections to the site—a century-old craftsmen community known for brick and terra cotta manufacturing—and conceived as a stylized kiln for community gathering, rendered in roman brick.

The Charleston Library, the 14th branch of the New York Public Library on Staten Island and the first to be built on the South Shore in thirty years, will provide the borough with a 21st century facility that provides a variety of reading, learning, and meeting spaces for all its users. In addition to an information commons, community room, and a program room, the new library will offer dedicated reading rooms for adults, young adults, and children.

“This state-of-the-art library is going to have dedicated areas for every age group and will engage the community in ways we haven’t seen before on Staten Island,” said New York City Councilman Joe Borelli. “The community input throughout this process has been thoughtful and inclusive and I think we’re all going to be very pleased with the resulting facility. South Shore parents and readers are excited about this one and so am I!”

“The library is strategically located at the intersection of modern life, straddling a site bordered by a retail shopping center and a city park. The residents of Charleston will now have a civic place to gather as a community,” said Joe Tattoni, ikon.5 architects’ Design Principal.

Scheduled for completion in early 2021, the Charleston Branch Library is designed to achieve Net-Zero energy usage and a LEED Gold rating with its high-performance building envelope and an array of roof-top photovoltaic panels that will help power the building. The library meets the sustainable goals of the City of New York’s 80 x 50 program of reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

Luminaries at the groundbreaking included U.S. Representative Max Rose; Staten Island Borough President James S. Oddo; New York City Councilman Joe Borelli; New York State Assemblyman Michael Reilly; NYPL President Anthony Marx; and New York City Economic Development Corporation President James Patchett.


Kristen Leone