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Source: The Record, Sunday, May 28, 1989
Where The Outside Is Inside
By Dorothy S. Macchio, Correspondent
The Teaneck Free Public Library has been remodeled from the 1929 single-room, red-brick Georgian Colonial-style building with quoins to a bright, multifunctional edifice with an interesting twist. Five former exterior walls are now walls, giving the library a museum/gallery atmosphere.
The pleasant yet functional architectural plan was proposed by architect Jack Beyer of the New York City firm of Beyer Blinder Belle in September 1978. Beyer, a former Teaneck resident and a 1950 graduate of Teaneck High School, submitted the library expansion plan at the request of the Teaneck Council after the previous plan for a new library building ran into financial problems.
In a 1978 interview with The Record, Beyer stated that he drew his ideas from the French architect Henri LaBrouste, who build Librarie de Ste. Genevieve in Paris in the 1850s.
Building of LaBrouste's concept of the use of iron and glass for expansion, Beyer's plan began with a entrance from the west parking lot. Next, the courtyard created by the new entrance was enclosed by extending the roof-line across the length of the structure with iron and skylights. Not only were two rooms added by this construction, but the skylights across the length of the new roof-line created an atrium below.
The former exterior walls now became interior walls complete with windows, thus preserving the original building while simultaneously accommodating the need for more space. In addition, the plaques containing the names of scholars, philosophers, and artists in Latin, that were set into what was the exterior wall, are preserved. These plaques are duplicated on the exterior Teaneck Road side of the building.
Additional shelf space was added and the public areas linked together with ramps and elevators. By rearranging the periodical section, the auditorium, in the lower level, was restored to its original function.
Teaneck Public Library
840 Teaneck Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666
Tel.: (201) 837-4171, Fax: (201) 837-0410