“The Brooklyn Historical Society’s four-story Queen Anne style building was completed in 1881 and was designed by architect George B. Post. Post’s bold use of extensive terra cotta ornamentation on the façade, and innovative truss system to support the ceiling of the central library, has long been revered by architectural historians.”

Plans for interior renovations to the Brooklyn Historical Society were unveiled on Friday by architects Taryn Christoff and Martin Finio of Christoff:Finio Architecture. At the heart of the renovations is the desire to preserve the historic ambiance at the same time bringing it up-to-date.

The renovations are scheduled to begin in October of this year and will be completed by mid-September, 2012. While the first floor and lower level of the building are being renovated, the foyer and upper level library and exhibition spaces will remain open.

The building was originally designed for the Long Island Historical Society and there have been significant renovations over the years. It still bears the original exterior terracotta moldings (the first building in New York City to use locally produced terra cotta) and arched entrance, which was sealed in 1997 in favor of the lower level ramp walkway. The entrance way will be restored and used as it was intended. Plans include extended handicapped access, which will allow handicapped visitors full access to the center.

This renovation is huge and I’ll point you to CarrollGardensPatch to read a lot more about this landmark event.

The building was also made famous when the architect George B. Post applied a bridge construction technique of using a truss system to suspend the weight of a floor. The purpose of this was to create an open and graceful galleried library. The top floor of the building was suspended from iron trusses in the roof. Additional iron columns enclosed in carved wood support the galleries in the library. The building is one of the few examples of the 19th-century genre of a combined museum and library still in existence.

Please click on the link to the Brooklyn Historical Society website for a interesting learning experience. I’ve also included the link in my Blogroll of useful links.

“In July 1991, the building was recognized as a National Historic Landmark and included on the National Register of Historic Places. Portions of the interior, including the library, were designated as an Interior Landmark by the City of New York, one of the few interior landmarked buildings in Brooklyn.”


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