New York Public Libraries Revive $1 Billion Plan to Overhaul Branches and Fifth Avenue Flagship
The New York Public Library on Wednesday rekindled its ambitious $1 billion plan to overhaul its branches and renovate its Fifth Avenue flagship.
The plan, which will now involve selling two of the system’s best-known libraries — the Mid-Manhattan branch and the Science, Industry and Business Library — was announced in 2008, when it was expected to be substantially completed by 2014. But the plan languished because of the economic downturn and changes in the library’s leadership.
“We are ready to re-engage toward executing our plans,” said Anthony W. Marx, who became the library’s president in July.
Plans for two new libraries, one in Upper Manhattan and one on Staten Island, which were to cost $40 million each, have been abandoned. But the overall cost of the project still hovers around $1 billion, which includes increasing the endowment.
About $300 million will go toward renovating the main branch; $150 million will come from the city and the rest from donations and the sale of properties, including the Mid-Manhattan branch on Fifth Avenue at 40th Street, the business library on Madison Avenue at 34th Street, and the Donnell branch on West 53rd Street, which closed in 2008.
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Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.