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Timeline: 42nd St Renovation Milestones


March 2008

NYPL announces its proposal to renovate the 42nd Street library, doubling the amount of public space and creating a modern, new circulating library. Stephen A. Schwarzman donates $100 million and the building is renamed in his honor.


October 2008

NYPL selects Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect Norman Foster to oversee the transformation of its flagship library, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.


November 2008

The new Children’s Center at 42nd Street reopens on the ground floor of the Schwarzman Building, bringing circulating collections to the 42nd Street library for the first time in generations.


February 2011

Completion of the historic, three-year project to restore and preserve the magnificent marble facade of the Schwarzman Building, a landmark of Beaux-Arts architecture. The American Institute of Architects later lauded this project in its 2013 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Architecture.


June 2011

The City allocates $150 million in capital funding to the Library’s 42nd Street Renovation.


February 2012

The Library’s Board of Trustees approves the start of schematic designs for the 42nd Street Renovation by the architecture firm Foster + Partners.


February 2012

The Library launches a citywide public dialogue about NYPL’s plans for the future, including the 42nd Street Renovation, to elicit feedback from New Yorkers.


September 2012

NYPL announces that—thanks to a generous gift of $8 million from Library Trustee Abby S. Milstein and her husband, Howard P. Milstein—it will now be able to develop the lower level of the Bryant Park Stack Extension, high-density storage space under Bryant Park that is directly connected to the Schwarzman Building by a staff access tunnel. (When the stack extension opened in 1991, only one of its two floors was outfitted to store valuable research materials.) The newly developed space will allow the Library to continue housing most research volumes currently at 42nd Street on-site. This important adjustment to the 42nd Street Renovation was made in response to concerns raised by the public during the listening process launched by the Library earlier in the year.


December 2012

The Library unveils Foster’s initial designs for the 42nd Street Renovation. NYPL also submits an application to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission requesting approval for minor changes to the facade.


January 2013

Landmarks Preservation Commission votes to approve aspects of the 42nd Street Renovation covered by the city's Landmarks law. The plan is also submitted to Midtown Manhattan's Community Board 5, which votes to "Strongly Support" NYPL's 42nd Street Renovation.


January 2013

Public hearings to take place as part of the Landmarks process.



NYPL expects to begin construction on the 42nd Street Renovation, as well as on the expansion of the Bryant Park Stack Extension.



Projected completion of the second level of the Bryant Park Stack Extension.



Opening of the new circulating library within the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.


Note: Future dates in this timeline are projected estimates and will be updated frequently.

Image credits (from top): © Steven Brooke Studios; Peter Aaron/ESTO; Jane Hoffer; Sean Scanlin; Jonathan Blanc; dbox/Foster + Partners