100 Story House: A Public Art Project by Leon Reid IV and Julia Marchesi (Brooklyn, NY)

The Hundred Story House

The Hundred Story House will be open to the public on September 8, 2012!

WHERE: JJ Byrne Park, 5th Avenue btwn 3rd & 4th St. Park Slope, Brooklyn.
WHEN: Saturday, September 8, 2012. 11am-4pm

TRANSIT: G or F Train to 4TH AVE. R Train to 9TH ST.

BRING the books you no longer need. TAKE the books you want to read.


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 books 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 100 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. 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 it in your hand. Or better yet, placing it in someone else’s.