Western Brooklyn

Shuttered Ulmer Park Library Becomes Neighborhood Eyesore [Updated]

Photo by Bensonhurst Bean
Photo by Bensonhurst Bean

Ulmer Park Library (2602 Bath Avenue), which has been shuttered for a year and half and was supposed to reopen this summer, is still closed and the site is gradually becoming a serious eyesore — collecting trash, discarded belongings and most recently, a dead cat — neighbors say.

Photo by Bensonhurst Bean
Photo by Bensonhurst Bean

According to the Brooklyn Public Library’s website, the Ulmer Park Library closed on March 28, 2015 to install a new roof, LED lighting and other cosmetic improvements. The library was expected to reopen in late spring or early summer of 2016, but as we near the end of July, the building is still locked and the front gate is tangled with overgrown weeds.

In addition, the site has become a dumping ground for discarded items and a neighbor sent us a photo of the dead cat that is attracting swarms of flies near the back entrance.

Photo by Bensonhurst Bean
Photo submitted by tipster

“The city should be ashamed and should immediately clean up and address the publicly owned property,” the tipster, who asked to remain anonymous, wrote in an email.

Ulmer Park Library, which houses a large Russian and Chinese book collection, opened as a sub-library in 1951, and within five years grew into a full library. The library moved to its current location in 1963 and in 1988, it became the first BPL library to implement computer-networked circulation, according the Brooklyn Public Library website.

Update [2:20pm]: Brooklyn Public Library has confirmed that the improvements — including the roof replacement, LED lighting, new furniture — are still slated to be completed this summer. It is also looking into complaints about refuse at the site.

Update [July 26, 3:30pm]: A neighbor sent us this photo of the workers cleaning up the Ulmer Park Library site. Thanks, Brooklyn Public Library, for the swift response to community concerns!