Now that the $300 million Lord Norman Foster-designed renovation of the New York Public Library is dead in the water, the library has set out to establish a new plan, and they've come up with one that will cost ... wait for it ... $300 million. But, library officials explain, that's still significantly less that the original $300 million renovation was going to cost, because the original $300 million renovation was actually going to cost over $500 million, according to independent estimates.
As previously reported, the controversial plan to eliminate the century-old stacks is no longer happening, but neither will the stacks be used to store books. Instead, the books that they used to hold will be moved to a climate-controlled room under Bryant Park, which will cost $22 million as opposed to the $46 million it would have taken to get the stacks up to code. The bulk of the new renovation plan consists of bringing the Mid-Manhattan branch into the twenty-first century by converting unused space into media and computer labs, teaching areas, offices, and libraries for kids and teenagers. The exhibition space off Astor Hall will also be doubled. The Mid-Manhattan branch renovation is expected to be completed in four to five years, with the flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman building being completed in three to four years. Neither is supposed to close during the renovation. A new, less lordly architect has yet to be selected.
· Library Reveals Details and Costs of Upgrade Plan [NYT]
· New York Public Library coverage [Curbed]