It’s been almost a year since the New York Public Library announced plans to renovate the historic space on 5th Avenue in Manhattan. But until last month, they still hadn’t released any design plans to the public. Now those plans have been released, and it’s stirring up controversy.
According to The New York Times, the $300 million renovation includes plans to replace the stack space with shelf space, sitting areas, and desks, while allowing people to view Bryant Park from inside the library for the first time since 1911. The initial plan was to move the iconic stacks to a storage facility in New Jersey, thus stirring part of the controversy. But those plans have since been scrapped; thanks to another $8 million acquired by the library, the majority of the stacks will move underground and remain on site.
The plan also calls for a consolidation of some of its other branches, which will save money and allow the library to enhance the flagship location, by adding more books, operating hours, and librarians.
Second-floor offices and storage rooms will be turned into a work space, children’s room, teen center, and education center. The renovation is expected to be completed by 2018.
While library officials say this is a positive way to modernize the century-old staple, others are upset that any part of the famous building is being changed.
I’m personally a huge fan of the New York Public Library, but don’t have a problem with the changes, especially if it means saving money, offering more space for education and scholarly work, and will add hours, books, and job opportunities. What do you guys think?