Proposed Updates to the New York Public Library’s Iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building Head to LPC

New York Public LibraryNew York Public Library's Main Branch. Photo via Wikipedia Commons / OptimumPx.

A highly anticipated LPC hearing for the renovation and exterior alteration at the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at 476 Fifth Avenue will take place later today. Earlier this month, the Landmarks Committee of Community Board 5 met to discuss proposed changes to the library that would introduce new outdoor areas.

Preliminary sketches of alterations

Designed in collaboration by Mecanoo, a Dutch architecture firm, with Beyer Blinder Belle, the alterations are meant to ease visitor access and improve internal circulation. The scope of work also includes the creation of new public areas and upgrades to existing infrastructure.

The proposal includes new lighting at the building’s Fifth Avenue plaza to match existing lampposts at the upper end of the property. Updates to the plaza also include new landscaping. Along 42nd Street, upgrades include a new ramp for ADA access and subway entrance modifications. Library entrances and access points along Bryant park would also be updated.

Alterations along 40th Street include new loading dock doors, an expansion of the existing loading dock, and a new terrace area with large bronze doors. Changes to this area of the façade include an extension of the exterior marble wall, signage for the library etched into the exterior façade, and planter inscriptions.

Presentation documents did not make it clear how the interior portions of the library would be altered.

Aerial rendering of new 40th Street Plaza

Rendering of new 40th Street Plaza

Rendering of new signage at the 40th Street plaza

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