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NY Public Library Morphs into a Big Plush Toy

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Passers-by on the sidewalks of Fifth and 42nd are asking themselves,"WTF is up with that?" The source of their confusion is the flagship building of the New York Public Library, which looks like it's getting ready for a hook-up with that nasty old Stay Puft man. Not since Christo and Jeanne-Claude draped Central Park in acres of saffron has NYC seen so much fabric as is now hanging over the Library's facade.

The Fifth Avenue facade under wraps.

The purpose of this tasteful wrap-job is to keep brittle bits of marble from falling off the facade. It's part of a $15 Million dollar facelift which will be completed by the Library's 100th birthday in 2011. The original blocks of white Vermont marble came from the Norcross-West quarry in Dorset. Good thing there's more where it came from because there's no telling how much it will take to get the job done. Until the work's over, all we can say is, "Better keep Arlene away from this big plush baby!"

The Library, in better days.

The crumbling north facade.

An expanse of Vermont marble awaits repair along the south facade.

The Library, back when things were black and white (L), and under construction (R).

An early 20th Century shot of the Norcross & West Quarry near Dorset, Vermont.
· A Bad Day in Midtown []
· It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christo [Curbed]
· Arlene's Awkward Plush Toy Staging [Curbed]