The New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street is one of New York City’s most beloved icons and a world-renowned research library holding millions of precious books, manuscripts, photographs, and other historic items. As part of the Midtown Renovation, The New York Public Library is upgrading and renovating the Schwarzman Building to prepare the historic library for the future.
Developed by Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo and NYC-based firm Beyer Blinder Belle, the plan includes:
- The transformation of former staff or storage spaces into public spaces for research, exhibitions, and educational programs
- The transformation of long-underutilized, historic spaces for research and programs, including the new Lenox and Astor Room
- A much-needed entrance on 40th Street with a plaza and new elevator bank to ease congestion throughout the building
- An improved patron experience with new bathrooms and improved and modernized infrastructure, including a café and expanded shop
- A new Center for Research and Learning that will introduce high school and university students to the array of collections and uses of the research library
- A new permanent but rotating exhibition of NYPL treasures in the library’s Gottesman Hall
- A new Visitor Center complete with interactive exhibits about the Library system, and its collections, legacy, and impact.
Work began 2018 and will continue through 2024. The renovation will build the infrastructure to support future generations of visitors and researchers while maintaining the building’s architectural integrity and complementing its historic spaces.
See an updated construction schedule as of February 2021.
For more details, visit the Stephen A. Schwarzman Master Plan announcement page.