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HPL breaks ground on new Park Street Library

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

July 23, 2019: Great turnout at the official groundbreaking for the new, 13,000 square-foot Park Street Library this morning! The new library, which is scheduled for completion in approximately one year, will be HPL's largest branch library.

On Tuesday, July 23, Hartford Public Library’s Chief Executive Officer Bridget Quinn-Carey, Hartford Public Library Board Chair Greg Davis, and Hartford Public Library Board Secretary Ana Alfaro were joined by Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, State Senator John Fonfara, State Representative Minnie Gonzalez, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, CT State Librarian Kendall F. Wiggin, and Hartford Architect Tai Soo Kim, to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Library’s new Park Street Library, which will revitalize the corner of Broad and Park Streets in Hartford.

The new two-story, 13,000 sq. ft. building will become the largest branch library in the city of Hartford, providing much needed community resources to an already vibrant retail and residential neighborhood. The new library will include a 150-seat community room, learning lab, meeting rooms, a café, exhibit space and designated adult, teen and children’s areas and a protected courtyard.

The $12.5 million-dollar project will be funded by an $11.1 million grant from the State of CT Bond Commission and a $1 million-dollar grant from the CT State Library. Additional funds will be provided by the City of Hartford.

“I want to thank Governor Lamont, Lt. Governor Bysiewicz, Senator Fonfara, Representative Gonzalez, Mayor Bronin, and the State of Connecticut and City of Hartford for this essential investment in the new Park Street Library,” stated Bridget Quinn-Carey, Hartford Public Library Chief Executive Officer. “The Park Street Library is an important and essential anchor for the Park Street neighborhood, and we are all excited for this new venue that will make a great branch even better and stronger for the future.”

“Libraries are a fundamental component of every community across Connecticut as they play a critical role in making information and technology accessible to the public and providing safe spaces for individual learning and community collaboration,” Lt. Governor Bysiewicz said. “This library will continue to foster growth in the Park Street neighborhood of Hartford and ensure that every person will have access information and technology that otherwise might not be available to them at home.”

“Creating a vibrant and service-oriented library is critical to this community,” stated State Senator John Fonfara. “It is very important to recognize that many Hartford residents will be part of the team constructing the new Park Street Library.”

“Thriving libraries are one of the cornerstones of our communities,” stated Hartford State Representative Minnie Gonzalez. “The residents of Frog Hollow need and deserve a 21st century facility and I am pleased to be working with all stakeholders to deliver just that for the neighborhood.”

“The Park Street Library is one of the most well-used branches in the city, and for decades, the Frog Hollow neighborhood has fought to replace the small, rented space with a facility that truly meets the neighborhood’s needs,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. “I’m thrilled that a beautiful new branch will soon be built on the site where the historic but blighted Lyric theater stood, providing a strong community anchor at the corner of Park Street and Broad Streets. This was a true partnership between the neighborhood, the City, the State, and the Hartford Public Library, and it’s an exciting and long-awaited win for Frog Hollow.”

The Park Street Library construction team led by Downes Construction Company is committed to community engagement throughout construction of the project. The team will be holding community updates at every major project milestone so that the Frog Hollow community is aware of all construction activities and that the library meets the community’s needs with the least disruption possible.

Downes Construction Company is also committed to involving local businesses and workers on this project and in long-term construction careers. The Park Library project will abide by the City of Hartford Affirmative Action Plan (HAAP). Requirements include 15% Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE); no less than 15% of the total project work hours, by trade, worked by minority workers and no less than 30% of the total project work hours to be worked by Hartford residents.

The new library, designed by world-renowned Hartford-based architect TSKP Studio, will take approximately one year to build. TSKP Partner Tai Soo Kim is a graduate of the Yale School of Architecture and has been one of Hartford’s leading architects for nearly 50 years. He has won over 40 local and national awards for his work, and is a member of the American Institute of Architects’ prestigious College of Fellows.

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