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STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE PARK LIBRARY CONSTRUCTION PROJECT
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A NEW LIBRARY IS COMING TO FROG HOLLOW

For years, activists and neighborhood groups pushed for a new, bigger library in the neighborhood. With plans approved last March for a sleek, new 13,000 square foot building a few blocks away, residents look forward to construction to begin.

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THE PLAN

The first floor will have a 3,000 square foot reading room, a separate 1,200 square foot children’s room, a small café, and an enclosed outdoor patio area for performances and events. The second floor will feature a learning lab, conference room, and a nearly 2,000 square foot community room able to accommodate up to 100 people for meetings, lectures, performances, and other events.

THE FEELING

Exposed wood will give the interior of the new library a warm, welcoming feel. And in a tip-of-the-hat to the history of the site, large photographs of the hand-painted murals adorning the front of the Lyric Theater will hang inside.
It’s a fitting touch for a branch library whose history is intertwined with that of the neighborhood. In the 91 years since the community library opened, Frog Hollow has evolved from an enclave of immigrant factory workers to the epicenter of Hartford’s vibrant Spanish-speaking community.
WHAT’S NEW

Julissa Diaz and her five children go to the Park Library almost every day for all kinds of thing – books, programs and just a place to get away.

As one of the library’s biggest fans, there was no way Diaz was going to miss having her name attached to the new building going up at the corner of Park and Broad streets.

“This is perfect. I am very very happy,” Diaz said through a translator. “I’ve heard that there are going to be a lot of beautiful programs here.”

Diaz, Mayor Luke Bronin, HPL CEO and President Bridget Quinn-Carey, HPL board members and local activists left their own imprint, signing a second floor support beam to commemorate a new phase of the project.

“It’s something we like to do, kind of a traditional thing,” said Scott Scholl, project manager for Downes Construction Company.

Starting this week, the building will start to take shape. For the next six weeks the steel part of the structure will rise. Plans are for the project to be complete Spring 2021.

Spirits were high, with Quinn-Carey and board president Greg Davis happily greeting supporters over the two days of signing.

Graciela Rivera, manager of the Park Library, grew up in the neighborhood and has watched the branch change over the years.

“This is a beacon of hope for the neighborhood, something they can really be proud of,” Rivera said.

Work on the foundations and footings for the new Park Library, located on Park Street, will begin next week.

That project will take about six weeks, said Mark Parrino, HPL’s Director of Facilities Operations.

Once the foundations and footings are complete – “getting out of the ground,” as Parrino described it – the steel structure of the building will be assembled.

Without any delays from weather or the Covid-19 virus, that process could begin sometime in June.

The expected opening date is scheduled for May or June of 2021.

The new 13,000 square foot facility will replace the current 2,500 square foot storefront on Park Avenue. The new library will have a walk-in café, learning lab, community room, and a shared space for stacks, reading, and teen programs.

Demolition began January 15 on the crumbling Lyric Theatre, the future site of the Park Library. Aided by an excavator, crews dismantled the two brick buildings at the corner of Park and Broad streets, where the new 12.5 million library will be built. It’s on schedule to open at the end of 2020/early 2021. Delay in construction was due to site preparation, testing and environmental work. The buildings should be down before the end of January and construction will last about 12 months, depending on conditions. This new 13,000 sq ft library will replace the 2,000 sq foot space the Park Library currently rents two blocks north at the corner of Park and Babcock streets.

Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are now available for management of the Café at the new Park Library (set to open in the Fall of 2020). A mandatory pre-proposal on-site meeting of interested operators will be held at Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103 on August 12, 2019 at 10:00 a.m., at which time questions concerning the RFP package will be addressed. A representative of each proposer’s firm is required to attend and sign in. Proposers who do not attend the pre-proposal conference will not be permitted to submit a proposal. To learn more, please go here.

The city of Hartford on Tuesday started development of a new $12.5 million library in the South End’s Frog Hollow neighborhood.

READ MORE

Park Street Library Groundbreaking 7 (1)

READ GROUNDBREAKING PRESS RELEASE

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 will be 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 Library, which will revitalize the corner of Broad and Park Streets in Hartford.

READ MORE

The Connecticut State Library Board voted to approve Hartford Public Library’s construction grant for $1,000,000 at its November 23rd meeting. Funds will go towards the construction of the new Park Branch in the city’s Frog Hollow neighborhood.

READ MORE

Work on the foundations and footings for the new Park Library, located on Park Street, will begin next week.

That project will take about six weeks, said Mark Parrino, HPL’s Director of Facilities Operations.

Once the foundations and footings are complete – “getting out of the ground,” as Parrino described it – the steel structure of the building will be assembled.

Without any delays from weather or the Covid-19 virus, that process could begin sometime in June.

The expected opening date is scheduled for May or June of 2021.

The new 13,000 square foot facility will replace the current 2,500 square foot storefront on Park Avenue. The new library will have a walk-in café, learning lab, community room, and a shared space for stacks, reading, and teen programs.

Demolition began January 15 on the crumbling Lyric Theatre, the future site of the Park Library. Aided by an excavator, crews dismantled the two brick buildings at the corner of Park and Broad streets, where the new 12.5 million library will be built. It’s on schedule to open at the end of 2020/early 2021. Delay in construction was due to site preparation, testing and environmental work. The buildings should be down before the end of January and construction will last about 12 months, depending on conditions. This new 13,000 sq ft library will replace the 2,000 sq foot space the Park Library currently rents two blocks north at the corner of Park and Babcock streets.

Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are now available for management of the Café at the new Park Library (set to open in the Fall of 2020). A mandatory pre-proposal on-site meeting of interested operators will be held at Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103 on August 12, 2019 at 10:00 a.m., at which time questions concerning the RFP package will be addressed. A representative of each proposer’s firm is required to attend and sign in. Proposers who do not attend the pre-proposal conference will not be permitted to submit a proposal. To learn more, please go here.

The city of Hartford on Tuesday started development of a new $12.5 million library in the South End’s Frog Hollow neighborhood.

READ MORE

Park Street Library Groundbreaking 7 (1)

READ GROUNDBREAKING PRESS RELEASE

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 will be 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 Library, which will revitalize the corner of Broad and Park Streets in Hartford.

READ MORE

The Connecticut State Library Board voted to approve Hartford Public Library’s construction grant for $1,000,000 at its November 23rd meeting. Funds will go towards the construction of the new Park Branch in the city’s Frog Hollow neighborhood.

READ MORE
PROGRESS
  • Work begins on the new Park Library construction site. The construction fence is up and workers carefully remove the painted murals.
MEDIA

June 2020

May 2020

January 2020

August 2019

July 2019

May 2019

FAQ’S

The new Park Library will be located at the southeast corner of Park and Broad streets.

The new library will be approximately 13,000 square-feet and two-stories high. It will be the largest of Hartford Public Library’s seven community libraries. The current Park Street Library is only 2,000 square feet.