NYPL Statement On The 42nd Street Library Renovation

From New York Public Library President Tony Marx:

Throughout this process our focus has been making this library even better for our millions of visitors by creating an improved space for our largest circulating branch, providing a superior storage environment for the treasured research collection, and expanding public access to the iconic 42nd Street library.

When the facts change the only right thing to do as a public-serving institution is to take a look with fresh eyes and see if there is a way to improve the plans and to stay on budget. 

That’s why months ago we began a review of all programmatic, design and cost elements of the renovation plan and why we are now proposing an alternative plan that we believe will best meet our original goals.

Instead of removing the central stacks and placing the Mid-Manhattan Library in that space, we are proposing to renovate Mid-Manhattan Library at its current site. This renovation will add much-needed computer labs and an adult education center, and an inspiring, comfortable space for browsing our largest circulating collection.

At the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, in keeping with the original plan, we are proposing to undertake the most comprehensive renovation in the building’s history, reopening long-closed rooms to the public while leaving the stacks intact. The Schwarzman Building will feature more than double the current exhibition space, a new education corridor serving children and teens as well as teachers, spaces and services for entrepreneurs and more space for researchers and writers. And because we are proposing to expand our storage space under Bryant Park, we will have the capacity to ensure that the on-site research collection will be both better protected and quickly accessible.

We look forward to discussing our revised plan with our partners in government, library stakeholders and the public.