November 26, 2015

Roundup: NYPL Central Library Plan Gains City, State Nod; Stacks Demolition On Hold

Two New York Public Library renovation (aka Central Library Plan) stories in this roundup.

First, city and state reviews of the project have cleared it to move forward if conditions are met.

The WSJ reports on the two conditions that need to be met.

In a “letter of resolution” dated Monday, the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation approved the project with conditions: The library must reuse a portion of the stacks; it must hire an archaeologist or historian to create a record of the stacks and present documentation for review and approval; it must develop an engineering plan for protecting historic spaces in the building, including the Rose Main Reading Room, for which the metal stacks provide structural support.

The NYPL comments about this and other news in their December 2013 renovation plan update.

Second,  NYPL has agreed to delay the demolition of their historic steel stacks. This news came yesterday in Manhattan Supreme Court.

From the NY Daily News:

“We will not go forward with the demolition of the stacks” for now, Richard Leland, the library’s lawyer, told Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Paul Wooten.


Leland said the library would seek permission to move ahead with the demolition if the state Parks Department’s Office of Historic Preservation rules in its favor on the plan, which will cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Opponents have said preservationists inside state parks had been objecting to the elimination of all the steel stacks that hold up the building’s iconic Rose Reading Room.


Leland also announced that the library will hold off on selling or otherwise disposing of the Mid-Manhattan branch and several floors it still owns in the former B. Altman’s building on 34th Street until construction can proceed.

From the NY Post

The library will wait until Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Paul Wooten decides whether to halt the $300 million renovation of the Fifth Avenue building while a lawsuit against the institution plays out.

Judge Wooten promised a decision “very soon.”


Opponents have said preservationists inside state parks had been objecting to the elimination of all the steel stacks that hold up the building’s iconic Rose Reading Room.

Claire Kelly on the Moby Lives blog has more info and links.

Kelly also recently posted that Urban Librarians Unite (ULU) has decided to support the Central Library Plan. Her post includes a Q&A with Christian Zabriskie, Executive Diirector of ULU.

See Also: Some of Our Most Recent Posts About the NYPL Central Library Plan

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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