New York Public Library’s flagship branch getting $300M-plus renovation

Masterplan includes new research spaces, café and entrance

New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street
New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street

The flagship Fifth Avenue branch of the New York Public Library is getting a major facelift.

The NYPL has approved a new master plan for renovations at the iconic Steven Schwarzman Building that includes an investment of $317 million, largely from private donors, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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The board of trustees unanimously voted to approve the plan, which will bring new research spaces, a café And An Entrance Plaza to the branch, among other amenities. A previous master plan was scrapped in 2014 after opposition from the community and scholars, who objected to the fact that it would dismantle seven levels of book stacks holding the library’s research collection. The new plan, created by Mecanoo and Beyer Blinder Belle, doesn’t offer a specific vision for that section, which is about seven football fields in length.

Construction Should Take Place over the next three or four years, wrapping up in 2021. [WSJ] – Eddie Small