East Hampton Library Starts Summer Season With New Children’s Wing
What do a boat, windmill and a lighthouse have do to with a library? Answer – you will find each of those objects as part of the interior décor of the new children’s wing of the East Hampton Library on Long Island. After years of battles with the local zoning board that resulted in a 2011 decision by the New York State Supreme Court the 6800 square foot addition became a reality and opened on June 21.
Noted architectural firm Robert A.M. Stern (RAMSA) at a cost of $6.5 million designed the wing. The entire cost of the project was paid with private funds that included a donation from actor Alec Baldwin of one million dollars. The addition adds 4000 additional square feet for children services that will allow for additional 10,000 books as well as activity space. The lower level has the state-of-the-art Baldwin Family Lecture Room that provides space for community programs, meetings, film screenings, readings, lectures, and book events.
East Hampton has a long and rich history dating back to the 1600’s when it became the first English settlement in New York. The fact that it is far east on Long Island has long given the community a nautical feel. Lee H. Sholnick Design Partnership incorporated the sea and other historical elements into the interior design including a 16-foot information center (reference desk) that is in the shape of boat and a large model lighthouse. In addition, there is a whimsical map of the area as a floor covering and windmill seating area. The windmill is a nod to the several windmills in the area that date back to the 18th & 19th centuries.
The new wing is open to all, and patrons with a card from a Suffolk County library can check out books or media. The library, at 159 Main St., is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday - Thursday; 10 a.m-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 1 p.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Click here to view a video of the opening.