After suffering major damage as a result of a fire in December 2009, the Cliffside Park Free Public Library was relocated to temporary space until the grand re-opening of its 505 Palisade Ave. location in late September 2011.
Now, the reopened and renovated Cliffside Park Free Public Library has been featured in the 2012 Library Design Showcase. "American Libraries," the magazine of the American Library Association, sponsors the annual showcase, which features the architectural components of the country's best new and newly renovated public libraries.
Architectural aspects of the reopened Cliffside Park Free Public Library were highlighted in three distinct sections of this year's showcase: Youth Spaces; Reuse and Restoration; and Small Projects, Big Impact.
Stephanie M. Bellucci, the current Cliffside Park Library Director who joined the library after the renovations had been completed, said, "It is wonderful that we have been selected as a display library. The renovations truly highlight the unique history of this borough."
The renovated entrance to the Children's Section of the library was recognized in the Youth Spaces section of the 2012 Library Design Showcase. The new entrance acknowledges the history of the property on which it stands, as the library sits atop land that was once part of the historic Palisades Amusement Park. Specifically, the entrance features a roller coaster, Ferris wheel and ticket booth, which all incorporate books. The architect on the project was Arcari and Iovino Architects, PC, and the designer was Janice Davis Design LLC. The total cost of the project was $29,000.
The library was also featured in the Reuse and Restoration section of the showcase. After the 2009 fire in which the library was substantially damaged, a major renovation was undertaken to preserve the salvageable parts of the original structure. The subsequent restoration and small addition to the library has earned it recognition for the "effective use and new flow of public space, according to the AL Focus website. The renovation yielded a 2,181-foot expansion, and the total cost for the renovation and expansion was $1.4 million.
The renovation of the Children's Section was additionally featured in the Small Projects, Big Impact section, for the potential long-lasting effect it will have on kids' use and enjoyment of the library.
"American Libraries," the flagship magazine of the American Library Association, is published bimonthly, six times a year, with four quarterly digital supplements, by the American Library Association.
The entire 2012 Library Design Showcase may be viewed online by visiting www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org.