The East Hampton Library Celebrates Opening of New Children’s Addition with Alec Baldwin

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New addition features state-of-the-art "Baldwin Family Lecture Room".

The East Hampton Library hosted a Grand Opening Celebration for their New Children’s Addition on Saturday, June 21. More than 500 people were in attendance for the ribbon cutting ceremony, including actor Alec Baldwin (with wife Hilaria and daughter Carmen). Baldwin donated $1.275 million to the East Hampton Library for the construction of the addition, which features the state of the art “Baldwin Family Lecture Room” on its lower floor.

The opening ceremony was held on the Library grounds, followed by a ribbon cutting, tours of the New Addition, refreshments, and entertainment for children. The ceremony featured speeches by the Library’s Board of Managers; special proclamations from elected public officials; the announcement of the winning entries in the Library’s writing and drawing contest; the placement of special items into a time capsule; and music by the East Hampton Middle School’s all-girl chorus, The Bonnettes.

The New Children’s Addition at the East Hampton Library adds 6,800 square-feet to the existing Library. Constructed by Ben Krupinski Builder, the addition was designed by noted architect Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA), and features a Children’s Reading Room on the main floor, with interior design and environmental graphics by Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership (LHS+DP).

For children, the expansive new main floor space (approximately 4,000 square-feet) allows for the addition of 10,000 more children’s books, new computers and technology, ample seating, dedicated areas for toddlers and teens, and other age-appropriate improvements. The whimsical interior design and graphics are informed by the historic architecture of the existing building and the nautical heritage of the surrounding seaside community. Interpretive design elements by LHS+DP include tall, blinking lighthouses, a large windmill with shelves and seating, and a boat-shaped Librarian’s information desk. As with the Library’s 1997 addition, the architectural style of the new addition by RAMSA blends seamlessly with the original structure.

The high-ceilinged lower level floor features the state-of-the-art Baldwin Family Lecture Room, providing space for community programs, meetings, film screenings, readings, lectures, and book events. A partnership with the New York Public Library will allow for live streaming of that institution’s programs, as well as others from around the world. The spacious lower level gallery-style lobby features lit wall exhibition space for art displays, leading to the Library’s new book sale and storage room.

The addition has allowed for other improvements in the Library’s existing spaces including painting, new carpets, new DVD and CD shelving and updates to the HVAC system. The installation of the new second elevator now makes the entire Library handicapped accessible. Sixteen new parking spaces have also been added to the Library’s parking area and beautiful new landscaping features, including a charming children’s “secret garden” with imaginative topiary plantings, designed and installed by Marders, add to the smoothly unified integration of the new and existing spaces.

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Keri Lamparter
East Hampton Library
(631) 668-7507
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