UPDATED 4:00 PM July 4, 2013
“Opponents Sue to Block New York Public Library Renovation Plan”
Coverage from the The NY Times
A group of scholars and preservationists including a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian have filed a lawsuit to prevent the removal of century-old book stacks from the New York Public Library’s landmark building on Fifth Avenue as part of a planned $300 million renovation.
The lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Wednesday, seeks a court injunction to stop the library from proceeding with preparatory or demolition work, and to bar city officials from providing funding for the renovation.
“The destruction of the stacks… will surely doom the NYPL’s mission to serve the public’s research and reference needs,” the plaintiffs said in court documents filed Wednesday. “If the stacks are destroyed, the books – the unique and distinguishing asset of the NYPL – can never be returned to their rightful place under the Rose Main Reading Room.”
Library spokesman Ken Weine said the library hadn’t yet reviewed the lawsuit.
The lawsuit presents several legal arguments for halting the renovation and the related sale of the Mid-Manhattan Library. Among them: that library officials failed to conduct a review of the project’s environmental impact; that the removal of the stacks would impinge on the public’s right to receive information under the First Amendment; and that the consolidation of a circulating library inside a research library constitutes a breach of the library trustees’ fiduciary duties because it would diminish the library’s research function.
Read the Complete Article
See Also: The New York Public Library Must Be Saved From Itself (by David Levering Lewis; July 2, 2013 via COHE)
Note: Levering Lewis is a plaintiff in the case.