Section through the building, showing the dynamic new circulating library beneath the third floor research spaces, including the Rose Main Reading Room. Two stories of modern book storage underneath Bryant Park will preserve the Library’s research collections.
Merging Tradition and Innovation
Designed by the renowned architecture firm Foster + Partners, the 160,000-square-foot Central Library Plan will more than double public space within the 42nd Street building while preserving the building’s facade and its original interiors. A new circulating library will replace an enormous area that is currently occupied by the outdated book stacks and has always been closed to the public. Most research volumes housed on those shelves will be moved to modern storage beneath Bryant Park, thanks to a generous gift from Library Trustee Abby S. Milstein and her husband, Howard P. Milstein.
A New Lending Library for All
Shelving from the original book stacks reused in new spacesWithin one iconic building and overlooking Bryant Park, New Yorkers will enjoy free access to ...
- Books to browse and check out
- Computer labs
- Programs and events
- Meeting spaces
- Quiet study zones
- New centers for children and teens
- Classrooms for ESOL, literacy, and more
- Job Search resources
- Expanded spaces for scholars and writers
Preserving and Restoring a Masterpiece
A permanent display of Library treasures in Gottesman Exhibition Hall bridges the historic Carrère and Hastings building and the new circulating libraryThe Central Library Plan preserves the building’s awe-inspiring public spaces and reopens historic rooms that have long been closed to the public, allowing even more New Yorkers to enjoy this Beaux-Arts treasure.
Like the other iconic research spaces on the third floor, the grand Rose Main Reading Room (above) will not be altered under the plan, nor will majestic Astor Hall on the first floor of the building be touched.
What Do You Think?
We're very excited about the plan. What about you?