Children’s story area

Bloomingdale Children’s Library

Design Executed as Project Manager at Belmont Freeman Architects

This project is a renovation of a 1960s branch of The New York Public Library, which had a very limited budget.  

Our design is based on a theme of “How Things Work,” in which kids are encouraged to learn about and engage with the systems and structure of the existing space.  Accordingly, we removed a low acoustical ceiling to reveal the concrete frame above, and installed new exposed ductwork. We painted these systems different colors to highlight them for the kids.  

We designed educational graphics such as DNA strings and dinosaur skeletons, and had these applied to the walls and millwork. Custom light fixtures with exposed fluorescent tubes resemble lightning bolts.

We designed educational graphics for the ends of the bookcases

Book display at the entry to the library

Floor Plan

Custom designed zig-zag light fixtures hang below exposed structure and HVAC systems

PAUL MICHAEL ARCHITECTS, PLLC                                        All Rights Reserved                                         1221 E Pike St #300 Seattle WA 98122  USA                                           (206) 890-9229


Name:             Bloomingdale Children's Library Renovation

Completion:     2007

Location:         New York, NY

Scope:            Interior Renovation of existing upper level of

                      Branch Library on Manhattan's Upper East Side

Area:              4000 SF  


Architect:    Belmont Freeman Architects

          Monty Freeman, Principal

                  Paul Michael Davis, Project Designer

Client:        New York Public Library