NYPL delays reopening of 67th Street branch after water damage

The 67th Street Library sustained water damage while it was being renovated this summer. Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Heavy rains this summer caused water damage at the Upper East Side NYPL branch.

The 67th Street Library sustained water damage while it was being renovated this summer.
The 67th Street Library sustained water damage while it was being renovated this summer. Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin

The reopening of the 67th Street Library on the Upper East Side is being delayed because of water damage caused by heavy rains this summer, city officials said. 

The New York Public Library branch, located between Second and First avenues, was closed in March to undergo renovations to replace the roof and upgrade the heating and cooling units. It was expected to reopen in the summer.

The renovations at the 67th Street Library included replacing the roof and upgrading the HVAC system.
The renovations at the 67th Street Library included replacing the roof and upgrading the HVAC system. Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

But, while construction on the roof was ongoing, a “heavy torrential downpour” in the third week of July caused a drainage overflow that damaged the inside of the building, said Shoshana Khan, a spokeswoman with the city’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC), which is overseeing the roof and HVAC renovations.

A DCC contractor fixed the damage to the ceiling and walls on the first floor, third floor and cellar in August, but the NYPL was handling further repairs related to the water damage, Khan said. The DDC also was finalizing the renovations that began in March.

As a result, the reopening was delayed “to ensure that all repairs are made, the branch is fully functional, and it can best serve the needs of our patrons,” NYPL spokeswoman Angela Montefinise said.

Work was being done on the roof of the 67th Street Library on Thursday.
Work was being done on the roof of the 67th Street Library on Thursday. Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

The branch, which first opened in 1905 and was renovated in the 1950s and in 2005, is now expected to reopen in November, the library says on its website.

“We appreciate the community’s patience as we work to get its beloved library back open,” Montefinise said.

While the 67th Street location is closed, the NYPL is encouraging New Yorkers to use the branches on East 58th Street between Park and Lexington avenues, the Webster Library on York Avenue and East 78th Street and the Yorkville Library on East 79th Street between Third and Second avenues.

Nicole Brown