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Stapleton Library Reopens; 70 Pine Street Faces LPC; More!

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[Photos by Jonathan Blanc for NYPL]

STAPLETON?After a three-year long renovation, Staten Island's Stapleton Library has finally reopened. The original 1907 Carnegie Library has more than doubled in size thanks to a new 7,000-square-foot addition by Andrew Berman Architects. New reading rooms, lounges, and public access computers have been added, as well as a multipurpose community room. [CurbedWire Inbox; NYDN]

CONEY ISLAND?The People's Playground is getting a new thrill ride, the Thunderbolt, a loop-de-looping roller coaster. The new attraction will sit on the site of the original Thunderbolt (that of Woody Allen's Annie Hall), and it will hit speeds of 65mph with a 125-foot drop. For comparison, the iconic Cyclone hits 60mph and has an 85-foot drop. The coaster will be up and running for the 2014 season. [CurbedWire Inbox; previously]

FINANCIAL DISTRICT?Changes are underway at 70 Pine Street, a downtown landmark more (in)famously known as the former headquarters of Great Recession villain AIG. Developer Rose Associates is planning to convert the building to 1,000 rental apartments?a big order for sure, but one that even leaves room for significant retail improvements and limited office space. Construction preparations have been underway for a while now, but the overhaul was on full view to the public at City Hall this morning, where Landmark Preservation Commissioners discussed the finer points of street-side exhaust louvers, reception desks, and glass partitions. While the LPC will surely have some bigger fish to fry as construction heats up, Bob Tierney's squad was none too pleased with the rendered first floor lobby, where architects Deborah Berke Partners/Stephen B. Jacobs Group was found to be guilty of employing too much aluminum and too little marble, alongside a bit of "excessive verticality"? Even the merits of adding a third reception desk were hotly debated. Fortunately for the 70 Pine team, the Landmark designation covers only the building's exterior and lobby, so after another round with the LPC, it should be relatively smooth sailing as apartment living comes to downtown's most highly second most highly anticipated landmark conversion. [Curbed Intern David Stein; previously]

70 Pine Street

70 Pine Street, New York, NY 10005