Steinway Library’s main entrance on 31st Street features a new ADA accessible ramped entrance and a 24/7 exterior book returns machine.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Queens Public Library and NYC Department of Design and Construction Announce the Reopening of Steinway Library Following Accessibility, Rehabilitation and Improvements Project
$4.9 Million Project Adds Accessible Entrance, Elevator and Upgrades the Interior
(Astoria, NY – January 18, 2022) Queens Public Library (QPL) and the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) today announced the reopening of Steinway Library at 21-45 31st Street in Astoria, following a $4.9 million project to improve the library’s accessibility for persons with disabilities and upgrade the interior. DDC managed the project for QPL.
“These crucial upgrades to the building offer the community a library that is more inviting, technologically efficient and accessible to all,” said Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “We know the public has been eagerly awaiting the reopening of the branch, and we are truly excited to welcome and serve them once again.”
“The renovations at Steinway Library improve and update a vital community resource for Astoria; a new elevator also opens the library to more New Yorkers, including persons with disabilities,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction Acting Commissioner Thomas Foley. “This project is an example of the great work we are able to perform on behalf of Queens Public Library to create and enhance educational spaces for communities throughout Queens.”
“The historic Steinway Library has been a critical anchor of this community for the generations of families who have passed through its doors. With this multimillion dollar renovation effort complete, all Astoria families, regardless of ability, finally have equitable access to the educational and enrichment opportunities this library provides,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “Thank you to the Queens Public Library and the NYC Department of Design and Construction for making this project a reality and providing the readers and residents of Astoria with a state-of-the-art facility to learn and grow — they deserve nothing less.”
“Public libraries show us what we can build when we invest in public infrastructure for all New Yorkers,” said Assembly Member Zohran K. Mamdani. “Congrats to QPL as they reopen our Steinway public library with improvements that make it more accessible for all of our neighbors. I can’t wait for my next visit!”
“I am delighted to celebrate the reopening of the Steinway Library,” said NYC Council Member Tiffany Cabán. “Since I was sworn in, my office has heard a great deal from the community about what a vital resource it is. Thank you to the Queens Public Library for all the resources they’ve devoted to make our library more functional, accessible, and inviting. I’ll see you there on Tuesday!”
“I grew up reading with my parents, doing my homework and research at the Steinway Library. It was a great privilege as a Councilmember to support the renovations of ADA upgrades including an elevator and entrances, a renovated children's floor and upgrades to the overall building,” said Costa Constantinides, former NYC Council Member and current CEO Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens. “This work ensures that families in our community can rely on this library into the future and continue to make this our community space. Thank you to Dennis Walcott, QPL and all involved for bringing these renovations to fruition.”
Steinway Library is one of the three original branches that 125 years ago had become part of the Long Island City Public Library system, which was later renamed to Queens Borough Public Library. The current building, designed by architect Adolph Goldberg in a mid-century modern style, opened in 1956. The 12,500-square-foot structure includes a cellar and two above-grade levels on a 7,600-square-foot lot with a landscaped rear garden.
The completion of the project brings a new elevator providing access to all three levels of the building from the cellar to the second floor. A new ADA accessible ramped entrance and a 24/7 exterior book returns machine were installed at the library’s main entrance on 31st Street. Three new restrooms were installed in the cellar, including an all gender, single-occupant, ADA accessible restroom.