Beautifully Restored Park Slope Library
The Park Slope Library, an historic restoration project completed by Vincent Benic Architect, was recently awarded the 2012 Preservation and Rehabilitation Award by the Victorian Society of New York. The original building, designed by Raymond F. Almirall in the classical revival style, was completed in 1906 and has a red brick and limestone facade with a raised blue stone basement. The library’s interior is one of the most intact and ornate of the Carnegie libraries. The symmetrical plan consists of two reading rooms, each with extensive oak paneling and tiled fireplace, an entrance vestibule and circulation desk area, and a mezzanine with its own fireplace. Vaulted, stained and leaded glass skylights top the vestibule and stack areas, and there are expanses of interior leaded glass windows.
The design concept was to restore the historic architectural features of the interior, while introducing harmonious, contemporary elements. The scope included restoration of the woodwork and paneling; installation of new oak bookcase enclosures; restoration of the Grueby Faience fireplaces; restoration and relighting of the leaded, opalescent glass lay lights; installation of a glass floor and ramp at the mezzanine book stacks; new finishes, mill work and lighting throughout; new furniture; and interim masonry repairs to portions of the basement walls and area-way steps.