Stephen A. Schwarzman Building Renovation

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 will upgrade and renovate the Schwarzman Building to prepare the historic library for the future, adding about 20% more public space to the building for research, exhibitions, and programs and greatly improving flow and infrastructure.

Developed by Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo and NYC-based firm Beyer Blinder Belle, the plan specifically calls for:

  • 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


Work will begin in 2018 and continue through 2021. 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.