NYPL Spuyten Duyvil branch. All photos by Elizabeth Felicella.
The new exhibit, Reading Room: A Catalog of New York City’s Branch Libraries, opened yesterday at the Center for Architecture, featuring photographs by Elizabeth Felicella of all 210 of the New York Public Library branches. The extensive collection totals over 2000 images, ranging from expansive architectural interior and exterior shots to details. The idea, writes the Center for Architecture, is to invite the viewer “to appreciate the intricacy, complexity, and vast scope of these vital and evolving public resources.” The project took a total of five years and the images are organized in the Center for Architecture exhibit by date of the library’s construction.
NYPL Tremont Branch by Carrere and Hastings
Felicella says of the project:
I began by browsing: in the end, if I have come away with an agenda or a wish, it is that the branch buildings of New York City’s public libraries be understood and maintained as a collection, a rare and living architectural legacy, all the more extraordinary for its mutations, planned and unplanned over the course of the last century. It is a collection that is part and parcel of the evolution of modern public life as we know it; places that reflect and shape our best and changing aspirations as a society and as individuals within it.
NYPL Hamilton Grange Library
While some images have been on display before, this is the first time that the entire collection will be exhibited. Felicella was previously the artist in residence at the Brooklyn Museum in 2013 and has worked on large project that include a survey of the city’s shoreline and an atlas of the periphery of John F. Kennedy Airport.
Here are some additional images shared with us by the Center for Architecture:
NYPL Belmont Branch
NYPL Aguilar branch
Brooklyn Public Library, Clarendon branch
Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Heights Branch
NYPL Throgs Neck Branch in the Bronx
Brooklyn Public Library Pacific Branch
Brooklyn Public Library Pacific branch
NYPL Mott Haven branch in the Bronx
NYPL Hamilton Fish Park branch in Manhattan
NYPL Seward Park branch
NYPL Francis Martin branch in the Bronx
See the exhibit at the Center for Architecture at 536 LaGuardia Place until January 7, 2017.
Next, check out the Top 10 Secrets of the New York Public Library and read about the new “book train” that has been installed at the main branch of the NYPL.