A miniature lending library and public art installation intended for Brooklyn's Cobble Hill park.
Brooklyn is very bookish. If you walk the streets on a fair weathered weekend in certain neighborhoods, you will notice a system of informal and anonymous book-sharing. You will see piles of paperbacks and hardcovers lying on sidewalks or stacked on brownstone steps, available to any passersby looking for a good novel, or a cookbook from 1972.
This tradition is a testament to the limited storage of our homes, but also to the distinctly Brooklyn spirit of small-scale community interactivity that can be possible in a huge metropolis. It also speaks to a shared love of the written word -- as do our many bookstores, public libraries, and coffee shops filled with famous (or soon-to-be) writers at work.
But in our increasingly digitized age, the form that books take has changed, and so has the nature of ‘community’. Our laptops and phones and e-readers allow us to withdraw into our insular spaces, changing the way we interact with each other -- and how we experience the written word.
The Hundred Story House is a piece of interactive public art. It is a miniature Brooklyn brownstone whose windows open upon shelves of books (about 100 of them) which can be borrowed by the community.
Situated in the Cobble Hill Park on Clinton Street, the House is a tiny lending library open to all and operating on the honor system -- take-a-book, leave-a-book. This is an effort to celebrate the BOOK as a physical object, and the pleasure of holding one in your hand. Or better yet, placing one in someone else’s.
We plan to install the House this Spring, 2012. Your money will be used to cover project expenses such as; materials, fabrication, transportation, installation, maintenance, removal, documentation, insurance, permit fees, and of course-Kickstarter rewards. With enough $ and support we would love to extend this project other parks in NYC. Below is a list of rewards you can receive as a supporter.
To learn more about The Hundred Story House please visit our website here. For general inquiries, press and suggestions contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org CC: email@example.com
"The 100 Story House brings two of my favorite things together; public art and public libraries." -Katherine Lorimer, Goethe Institute, NYC.
Press response for "The Hundred Story House"
We've already gotten a ton of offers for book donations by people in the Brooklyn area. Some will also be donated by us (Julia and Leon) and the majority of book submissions we hope come from the surrounding community.
We will first observe the response the project gets in Cobble Hill and based on the outcome, we'll decide what park in Brooklyn it should go to next. We would also like it to travel to other boroughs in New York- perhaps even beyond.
We don't consider taking a book from the House 'stealing' if that particular person also gives a book in return. The exchange doesn't have to be immediate. Example: Mary takes a book from the House, reads it, and next week puts a book or two of her own inside -Mary has used the house in a good way. If the surrounding community uses the House accordingly, then it will be a success.
1) The House will be built with hard woods such as walnut or oak -materials that can take the rigors of the outdoors and human interaction. 2) the books will be placed inside the windows of the house- the windows are to be set with springs and close automatically upon release. 3) The book compartments will be coated with a sealant to deflect water and other liquids. 4) We will routinely check up on the House and make repairs if and when necessary.
It won't cost $13,000 to build The Hundred Story House. In fact, we estimate that building the House will cost half of that amount.
Our Kickstarter goal of $13k represents the sum total figure to cover ALL project expenses incurred both before and after our Kickstarter campaign. Examples of expenses include -but are definitely not limited to:
Project planning, design and promotion, general liability insurance as is required by NYC Parks department, transportation of sculpture from park to park, on-site installation, on site maintenance, removal, professional documentation, NYC Parks department permit fees, and not to mention the 10% taken off the top by Kickstarter, Amazon and credit card fees, -and we've got to buy and ship the rewards to our backers.