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Thread: New York Public Library Restoration

  1. #76
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Great idea BPC!! Happy to see the shelves staying put and just a refurbishment instead of an all out redesign. This building is a beauty as is.
    Last edited by JCMAN320; May 9th, 2014 at 01:01 AM.

  2. #77
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    This whole project was just all about bored trustees looking to find something to do. Probably time to gradually fire every one of them

  3. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by BPC View Post
    Hooray. It's perfect as is, and moving the stacks to New Jersey would have been a sacrilege. But I would hope the $150M would be redirected away from the main branch (or Schwartzman Building, if you prefer -- I don't), to the branches, many of which are crumbling. How about a $1M upgrade to each of 150 neighborhood branches spread throughout the five boroughs. How great a message would that be for our new mayor?
    Absolutely.

  4. #79
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    In New York Public Library's New Plan, the Stacks Stay...Empty

    Books Will Be Housed in an Expanded Climate-Controlled Storage Space Under Bryant Park

    By Jennifer Maloney


    Underground storage space, shown above in 2013, will be expanded. New York Public Library

    Scholars, preservationists and community activists are celebrating the New York Public Library's decision this week to preserve, rather than demolish, the century-old book stacks in its flagship Fifth Avenue building.

    But one part of the library's new plan has left people scratching their heads: The stacks won't hold any books.

    The books, part of the library's vaunted research collection, will be housed in an expanded climate-controlled storage space under adjacent Bryant Park.

    "Stacks without books," said David Levering Lewis, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer who was a plaintiff in a lawsuit opposing the stacks' destruction. "Isn't this pretty Kafka-esque?"

    Library officials on Wednesday said they were scrapping a controversial renovation plan that would have dismantled seven levels of historic book stacks from the Stephen A. Schwarzman building. In that space, the library had intended to build a circulating library to replace the branch across the street.

    The decision to cancel those plans followed lawsuits, skepticism from Mayor Bill de Blasio and an independent cost analysis that showed the renovation would have cost more than $350 million, in contrast with the $300 million originally estimated, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The library spent $18 million from 2008 to 2014 on the renovation plan.

    Now, the library will instead renovate the branch across the street and leave the Schwarzman building's stacks untouched. But because they lack climate controls, the books will be moved to the storage space under Bryant Park.

    The library said Thursday that it plans to spend $22 million to expand the storage space so that it can hold all the books previously housed by the stacks. The books were removed in March 2013 for indexing in anticipation of the stacks' dismantling.

    The expanded underground storage area will hold 3.7 million volumes, equivalent to the books that occupied the stacks and the underground space, according to the library. Another 300,000 books are housed in other rooms in the Schwarzman building.

    The expansion, said the library's president, Anthony Marx, is cheaper than the alternative: The independent cost analysis showed that installing climate-control and fire-suppression systems in the stacks would cost $46 million.

    "We think it would be irresponsible not to use the Bryant Park option," Mr. Marx said.

    Many who fought the renovation plan say they will now push for the library to use the stacks for their original function—as the nerve center for a building designed to house books.

    "It's doable. You can protect your books," said Annalyn Swan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer who was a plaintiff in two of the lawsuits. "Didn't they learn anything from the first time? This is a prime example of where public input should start."

    Other prominent research libraries have renovated their stacks. The Library of Congress over the past few decades has been upgrading fire-suppression systems in its stacks. A spokeswoman estimated the cost in the tens of millions of dollars.

    In Paris, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France is restoring— and opening to the public—a closed book-stack area as part of a broader renovation. Because the area can't be fireproofed, it will be able to hold no more than 199 people at a time.

    The New York Public Library considered upgrading and opening its stacks to the public but rejected it as not feasible.

    Anthony Grafton, a history professor at Princeton University, described the decision to expand storage space under Bryant Park as a good solution, one that will allow library users ready access to research materials.

    He added, however, that it is a shame to leave the stacks unused.

    "I could imagine doing something really creative," he said. "Wouldn't it be great to do a competition?"

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...?mg=reno64-wsj

  5. #80

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    Great news! I'm pleased to see that the Mid-Manhattan branch will be saved too.

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  7. #82
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    Exactly, there's nothing wrong with the library "as-is" - it's a masterpiece. Aside from maintenance and preservation, there's no justification for any construction or alteration of the structure. Trustees should understand that they are just that, "trust"ees and not some sort of self appointed visionaries.

  8. #83
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    My how the view behind this has changed. This has got to be an iconic photo over the last hundred years of its existence. I'd love to see a composite of it.

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