NY Public Library to See $317M Renovation

One key element of the renovation plan that still needs work is the Library’s central stacks, which span across seven floors (175,000 sq. ft.) of shelves original to the library’s 1911 construction.

📅   Fri November 17, 2017 - National Edition
Emily Buenzle


The plan, which will expand the facility's space by 20 percent, includes renovations, such as creating additional public spaces for research, exhibits and educational programs, converted from staff and storage areas.
The plan, which will expand the facility's space by 20 percent, includes renovations, such as creating additional public spaces for research, exhibits and educational programs, converted from staff and storage areas.

The main branch of the New York Public Library will undergo extensive renovations to the tune of $317 million after receiving approval from its board of trustees Nov. 15.

Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo and New York firm Beyer Blinder Belle developed the plan, Curbed reported.

The plan, which will expand the facility's space by 20 percent, includes renovations, such as:

  • creating additional public spaces for research, exhibits and educational programs, converted from staff and storage areas;
  • making underused historic spaces into research and programming areas;
  • building a new Center for Research and Learning to aid high school and college students better use the library's resources;
  • new bathrooms;
  • an added rotating exhibit of the Library's artifacts in Gottesman Hall; and
  • a new entrance plaza on 40th Street, including an elevator to help traffic flow within the facility.
  • One key element of the renovation plan that still needs work is the Library's central stacks, which span across seven floors (175,000 sq. ft.) of shelves original to the library's 1911 construction. The Library shied away from an extensive renovation plan in 2014 that suggested removing the stacks after substantial public pushback, Curbed reported. This time around the firms are looking into options for the stacks, which officials say are not protected by effective climate controls to help preserve the archives.

    Most of the $317 million in funding has come from private donors, and according to the Wall Street Journal, all donations, save for $9 million were privately raised.

    Construction will likely occur over the next three to four years, Curbed reported.

    Although the plan has been approved by the board, it will be presented for public opinion on Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. in the Celeste Auditorium at the main branch.