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The New York Public Library unveils plans for ongoing $317 million renovation

By Michaela Kilgallen

Get ready for some more changes to the New York Public Library's most iconic building.

Last week, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission approved plans for a new 40th street entrance and plaza at the NYPL’s flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman Building in Bryant Park. The exterior changes include a wider loading dock and a terrace named after Library Trustee and former Board Chair Marshall Rose. The year-long construction plan is set to begin in 2020.

Officials say the additional entrance and plaza will make the library more accessible to the public, improving the flow of visitors in and around the 1911 building. The new entrance will be dedicated to Blackstone Group founder Stephen A. Schwarzman, who donated $100 million in 2008 with the assurance that each entrance of the building bear his name. (This will be the sixth time (!) his name has been chiseled onto the landmark.)

The approval is the latest step in the library’s $317 million renovation plan, which was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2017. Developed by the firms Mecanoo and Beyer Blinder Belle, the privately-funded master plan will increase public space by 20 percent, create a new Center for Research, implement a rotating NYPL exhibition space and add new bathrooms, cafe and shop.

The larger renovation project kicked off in 2018 and is set to conclude in 2021.


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