Saturday, December 13, 2008

not quite abandoned

Driven by Boredom had a nice post this week about the closed New York Public Library location of the Donnell Library Center. (In full disclosure, I am on maternity leave from my job in the PR dept. of The New York Public Library.) Yes, it's true; this branch library will soon be renovated and much smaller, located in the basement of a luxury hotel.

The post, which is accompanied by photos, is located here.

The entire group of photos is here.

I know that at least one other photographer took photos of the site as well, since she took photos a few months before it closed and then very close to its closing date. I accompanied her on the first shoot, as part of my job. I hope to see the results sometime.

It is sad when libraries close. In Donnell's case, the building aged really badly. But the books and media within, of course, are timeless (for the most part).

Months before the hotel acquisition was announced, I think I remember am New York listing Donnell as a New York City building that should be destroyed.

Two other thoughts: In May of this year, I posted about my dislike of office urban exploration photography. The Donnell photos fit into this genre aesthetically, for the most part. Context is everything, right?

Looking at these photos, taken of a building right at its closing, reminds me of an instance several years ago when I had the pleasure of being present the day that the old Jersey City Medical Center closed. Ars Subterranea photographers were present, so I hope to also see those photos in a future work.