The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library unveils early designs of Mecanoo-led renovation plans




New Yorkers are getting their first look at a completely renovated, vastly improved Mid-Manhattan Library – The New York Public Library’s largest circulating branch – which is set to undergo a transformation that will increase seats, expand services, and add public space. The largest public-private rehabilitation in NYPL’s history will create a new, state-of-the-art library that will serve as both a model and catalyst for a rejuvenated library system.

The New York Public Library
Image © Mecanoo

The schematic designs released by The New York Public Library provides an early idea of what the Midtown branch will look like after a complete interior renovation, which is scheduled to begin in 2018. The new Mid-Manhattan Library will cost approximately $200 million. The project is much-needed at Mid-Manhattan, which opened in the 1970s in a space originally designed for a department store. The branch receives approximately 1.7 million visits annually and circulates approximately 2 million items each year.

The New York Public Library
Image © Mecanoo

The renovated branch – located at Fifth Avenue and 40th Street – will have a dramatic, multi-storey wall of bookshelves; an employment skills centre occupying a full floor as well as an adjacent floor providing job-search help and small-business support; a full-floor dedicated to a library for children and a separate library for teens; the only free public roof terrace in Midtown; and hundreds more seats than the current branch. Source and images Courtesy of Mecanoo.

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