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42nd Street Renovation: Details


What Is It?

The renovation of The New York Public Library’s 42nd Street library will create a state-of-the-art circulating library within our flagship location, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, restoring the 102-year-old landmark to its original mission while preserving its historic public spaces and enhancing research services.

The new circulating library will incorporate the books, programs, and services now found at our heavily used but seriously deteriorating Mid-Manhattan Library across Fifth Avenue and at our innovative Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL) on 34th Street. The renovation is expected to be completed in 2018. All three locations will remain open throughout construction.

Key Benefits:

  • More public library space than is currently available in all three locations combined
  • More than double the amount of public space within the Schwarzman Building, including reopening spaces that have long been used for staff and storage
  • A flagship building open 7 days a week, 12+ hours most days
  • Restoring attendance to levels not seen since the original circulating library was removed, but with more public space
  • Improved preservation for research materials in an easily accessible, state-of-the-art storage facility beneath Bryant Park
  • Expanded spaces for scholars and writers, with increased librarian support and book acquisition
  • Creation of additional funding that can be spent on new librarians and more books
  • New Business Research Center and Job Search resources for patrons
  • Improved facilities for Mid-Manhattan patrons without closing for renovations, including:
    • Natural light and views onto Bryant Park
    • Books and DVDs to browse and check out
    • New spaces for children and teens
    • Classrooms, computer labs, and expanded research areas


The renovation of The New York Public Library’s 42nd Street library is made possible with generous public support from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, The New York City Council, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and the Empire State Development Corporation.