New York Public Library’s Transformed Central Circulation Library, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library
May 21, 2021
The redesigned and renovated 40th Street and Fifth Avenue Library, generously supported by New York City and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), will open most floors and offer timed navigation and computer use as part the gradual reopening of the library system.
This critically important public facility, designed by the Mecanoo architectural firm with Beyer Blinder Belle, will provide free and open access to books, computers and other materials, as well as spaces for children and adolescents. , an adult learning center, a business center and a rooftop terrace, all in the heart of downtown
MAY 21, 2021—The New York Public Library is opening additional floors and expanding the service and hours of its completely transformed central circulating library, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL), starting at 1 p.m. on June 1.
The 40th Street and Fifth Avenue Library, formerly known as the Mid-Manhattan Library, has been renovated and completely transformed thanks to generous support from New York and a historic $ 55 million grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF ) – the second largest – individual gift of time in the 126-year history of the New York Public Library. The modern interior of the building and its inspiring overall design is the work of Dutch architect Francine Houben of Mecanoo Architects, a “library whisperer” who also designed the Martin Luther King Library in Washington DC, among others, as well than the unique expertise of a renowned New York-based company. Beyer Blinder Belle.
The transformative $ 200 million renovation of the Library’s Central Circulation Library – 455 Fifth Avenue, a building built in 1915 as a department store and occupied by the library from 1970 – includes eight floors of major amenities that serve all ages. Key elements of the new 180,000 square foot library include:
- Capacity for approximately 400,000 books and other documents, the largest document flow capacity in the New York Public Library system, which serves the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island
- A “Long Room” – the central element and the most important architectural intervention in the transformed branch – offering five levels of open and searchable piles of books, as well as two connected floors of classrooms, teaching spaces and programming, meeting rooms and consultation rooms.
- Midtown’s only free and publicly accessible rooftop terrace
- The 21,000 square foot Thomas Yoseloff Business Center (named after the grandfather of NYPL trustee and donor Anthony Yoseloff), occupies an entire floor and provides the services and outstanding collections of the former science library, industry and business. It will provide clients with access to electronic resources (such as Bloomberg terminals), full printed materials, in-person programs, courses, one-on-one sessions and offers in the areas of personal finance and finance. investment, resources for small business, business. and financial research and career services.
- The 20,000 square foot Pasculano Learning Center – the library’s largest adult learning center – which will provide a continuous continuum of educational opportunities to support lifelong learning (including training in technology, ESOL and citizenship courses, etc.).
- A new 26,000 square foot floor of separate spaces entirely for children and teenagers; there was no dedicated space for children or young adults in the old Mid-Manhattan library.
- Approximately 44,000 square feet of open space in a general public library, with twice the seating of the pre-renovation, computers, shelves and more, from the second to fourth floors of the library. These floors contain the majority of the Adult Library’s outstanding collection – a collection named the Marron Family Circulating Collections in honor of longtime NYPL trustee and former board chair Catherine Marron. and his family and their leadership lives.
The renovated branch – NYPL’s largest and busiest branch with more than 1.7 million visits per year and an annual circulation of 2 million items – is at the heart of the library’s plan to create a center world-class learning experience in the middle of Midtown, bringing together in one campus center the full range of library resources – from the library’s renowned historical collections cherished by scholars around the world to its outstanding documents, programs and events though necessary for all ages.
Construction on the SNFL began in 2017, when the Mid-Manhattan Library was temporarily closed and its services moved across the street to the ground floor of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The project, managed by Tishman Construction, was completed on time, on budget and ready for a grand opening slated for May 2020 (coinciding with the library’s 125th anniversary). The opening was delayed as part of the library’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In July 2020, the first floor of the transformed building opened to offer New Yorkers a book-to-go payment service, and in May of this year, the Thomas Yoseloff Business Center opened for appointments. -you. Now, starting at 1:00 p.m. on June 1, the lower level of the fourth floor will be open to limited navigation and computer use by appointment, and New Yorkers can get a first glimpse of most parts of it. their new central library in circulation.
The opening hours of the building will be Monday to Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Due to security protocols and staffing capacity, masks are required, there are still no in-person programs and for the immediate future the Pasculano Learning Center and Rooftop are to remain closed. But the Library is working to restore all services as soon as circumstances permit.
FOR THE MEDIA: RIBBON CUT ON JUNE 1
The SNFL will open its doors to the public at 1 p.m. on June 1. The library will have a socially cut ribbon at 9 a.m. to symbolically open the building. Visits with the architects will be made thereafter. Due to COVID-19 security protocols, all visitors MUST RSVP in advance, wear masks, physically distance themselves, and sign / provide all necessary forms.
You plan to be present:
- NYPL President Anthony W. Marx
- Evan Chesler, Chairman of the NYPL Board of Directors
- Architect Francine Houben, Mecanoo
- Architect Elizabeth Leber, Beyer Blinder Belle
- Andreas Dracopoulos, co-chair of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)
About the New York Public Library
For 125 years, the New York Public Library has been a free provider of education and information to residents of New York and beyond. With 92 locations – including research libraries and branches – across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibits, programs and more to everyone. , from toddlers to academics, and achieved a record number of attendance. and dissemination in recent years. The New York Public Library receives approximately 16 million visits through its doors each year and millions more around the world who use its resources at www.nypl.org. To provide this wide range of free programs, the New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about library support at nypl.org/support.
This press release was produced by the New York Public Library. The opinions expressed are those of the author.