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Out with the Condo-Hotel, in with the Library-Hotel

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Nothing warms the cockles of our heart like some wild reader speculation coming true in the face of insurmountable odds. The NYPL selling off some of its libraries? That's crazy talk! Cut to today's Times, which reports that indeed the Donnell Library on West 53rd Street near Fifth Avenue has been sold?to a hotel developer. And not just any hotel developer! Orient-Express Hotels, owner of the storied "21" Club on nearby 52nd Street, has scooped up the library builing (right) for $59 million. Needless to say, they're not planning on an expansion. Orient-Express will tear it down and build a new 11-story hotel under the 21 brand, connecting five floors of the hotel to the monocle-friendly club. The library will get a new space on the first and basement floors, with a separate entrance so that the hoity-toity 21ers won't be bothered. Construction is set to begin in 2009, which should give Midtown bums plenty of time to find a new place where they can get on the Internet for free and masturbate.
· New York Public Library’s Donnell Branch to Share Space With Hotel [NYT]
· Rumblings & Bumblings Responses: Library 101 [Curbed]

[Photo via PropertyShark]