The New York Public Library’s Mid-Manhattan Branch To Close on August 1 For Renovations

Temporary space across the street to open soon, hours at nearby branches extended to help accommodate patrons

Renderings of the planned renovated Mid-Manhattan Library can be accessed here (credit Mecanoo with Beyer Blinder Belle) 

JUNE 27, 2017 – The New York Public Library’s central circulating branch, Mid-Manhattan Library, is temporarily closing beginning on August 1 for a complete renovation.

Mid-Manhattan Library—located at 455 Fifth Avenue in Midtown—is slated to receive a long-awaited $200 million renovation that will transform the outdated building into a state-of-the-art library with a dramatic, multi-story wall of bookshelves; a full-floor business library; a full floor dedicated to separate libraries for children and teens; the only free public roof terrace in Midtown; and hundreds of additional seats.

The Library announced last year that Mid-Manhattan would close during the renovation to allow work to happen as quickly and efficiently as possible. Today, in an email to Mid-Manhattan patrons, the Library announced August 1 as the date.   

The renovated Mid-Manhattan Library is expected to open in early 2020.

During this closure, all staff and services offered at Mid-Manhattan Library will relocate to other nearby NYPL Midtown locations, including an interim space on the ground floor of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building located across Fifth Avenue.

That space—accessible via the 42nd Street entrance and called “Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street”—will hold Mid-Manhattan’s circulating collections and offer computers, programming spaces, and tables for quiet study. Mid-Manhattan holds will also be sent here. The space was constructed in a formerly non-public area used for staff and storage on the ground floor of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

The temporary space will open to the public on August 29 to allow time for Mid-Manhattan’s hundreds of thousands of books, as well as its furniture, to move across the street. Hours for the new space will be Monday, Thursday: 8 AM–8 PM; Tuesday, Wednesday: 8 AM–9 PM; Friday: 8 AM–6 PM; Saturday: 10 AM–6 PM; and Sunday: 10 AM–5 PM.

To further meet the needs of Mid-Manhattan patrons, hours will be extended at many nearby Midtown branches, and programs currently offered at Mid-Manhattan will be temporarily moved. Below are options for Mid-Manhattan patrons and new services that those branches will offer as of August 1. The new hours will go into effect on August 7, giving Mid-Manhattan staff time to transition to their new, temporary roles.

  • Grand Central Library, 135 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

    • New hours are Monday–Thursday: 10 AM–9 PM; Friday: 10 AM–6 PM; and Saturday: 10 AM–5 PM

    • Additional 8 hours per week

    • Additional services include IDNYC and SingleStop

  • Science, Industry and Business Library, 188 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016

    • New hours are Monday–Friday: 10 AM–8 PM; and Saturday: 10 AM–6 PM

    • Additional 4 hours per week

    • Additional services include TechConnect and citizenship classes

  • Children’s Center at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 42nd Street entrance

    • New hours are Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10 AM–6 PM; Tuesday, Wednesday: 10 AM–8 PM; and Sunday: 10 AM–5 PM (Sunday hours begin again in September)

    • Additional 3 hours per week

  • 53rd Street Library, 18 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

    • Hours are Monday, Wednesday: 11 AM–7 PM; Tuesday, Thursday: 11 AM–6 PM; and Friday, Saturday: 10 AM–5 PM

  • The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street

    • Hours are Monday, Thursday–Saturday: 10 AM–6 PM; Tuesday, Wednesday: 10 AM–8 PM; and Sunday: 1–5 PM (Sunday hours begin again in September)

    • Additional services include the newly relocated Picture Collection, which will remain at Schwarzman after Mid-Manhattan reopens, and TechConnect classes

    • This location is for research, quiet study, and programming only; except for the Children’s Center, patrons cannot pick up holds or check out books here

The renovation—which the Library is conducting with $151 million in City funds and additional private funding—is much-needed at Mid-Manhattan, which opened in the 1970s in a space originally designed for a department store. The branch receives approximately 1.7 million visits annually and circulates approximately 2 million items each year, making it one of the busiest circulating libraries in the country.

Schematic designs were released in November 2016 by the project’s design team, led by architects Francine Houben of Mecanoo and Elizabeth Leber of Beyer Blinder Belle. The team worked for over a year analyzing library usage data, interviewing staff, surveying the public, and meeting with community stakeholders to ensure that the new branch will best meet the needs of library patrons.

For more information on the temporary closure and on the project overall, please visit:

Media Contact:

Angela Montefinise |

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