FORT GREENE – The Center for Fiction is relocating from its longtime home in midtown Manhattan to the Brooklyn Cultural District.
Scheduled to open on February 1, 2019 at 15 Lafayette Avenue, the 17,500-square-foot, three story facility will feature a “book-inspired design” composed of wood, cork, and recycled leather. Designed by BKSK Architects, the Center’s interior space will also include literary quotes inscribed onto the walls, furnishings with book-related details, book-shaped lamps, and more.
The Center will offer a state-of-the-art 160-seat auditorium, a 1,800-square-foot bookshop, café/bar, reading room, writers’ studio, classrooms and meeting spaces, and outdoor terraces.
“I’m very excited that Brooklyn will be the new home for The Center for Fiction, especially at this location in the heart of Downtown’s cultural district, near BAM and the Theatre for a New Audience and many other art organizations,” the Center’s Executive Director, Noreen Tomassi, said in an email. “It’s important that literature be featured very prominently in that mix, and this location gives us many opportunities to look at how the art of fiction intersects and complements other disciplines.”
“Brooklyn is home to so many writers—both well known and emerging—and many of our audience members already are Brooklyn residents,” Tomassi adds. “Brooklyn is an intellectual and cultural hub in a great city and we are thrilled to become part of that energy!”
Founded in 1820 as The New York Mercantile Library in lower Manhattan, the Center was originally a lending library for clerks working in the mercantile industry. The Library moved multiple times over the years to different locations across Manhattan, with trustees building a new home for the facility at 17 East 47th Street in 1932. The Mercantile Library rebranded as The Center for Fiction in 2008 and later sold its building on East 47th Street, according to the New York Times.
The Center for Fiction is the only literary facility in the country devoted solely to the genre. The Center will co-own the newly constructed building in Fort Greene along with the Mark Morris Dance Group and the real estate development firm BCD.