New York Public Library's famed Fifth Avenue building set for renovation

THE New York Public Library has revealed a master plan to renovate and transform its iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, a Beaux Arts landmark known for the famous lions that flank its grand entrance.

Inside, the Schwarzman Building, located at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, houses one of the leading research libraries in the US.

Dutch architecture form Mecanoo is behind the master plan for the revamp, which focuses on a 20 percent increase in public space for research, exhibitions and education, and the transformation of long-underutilized historic spaces.

Plans also include the addition of an entrance and plaza on 40th Street, an updated visitor experience including a café and new shop, and a permanent exhibition in the building's Gottesman Hall that will rotate treasures from the library collection.

"We have developed a Master Plan that inherently adheres to the logic of a Beaux-Arts building," said Mecanoo's Francine Houben.

Mecanoo is joined in the project by the New York City-based firm Beyer Blinder Belle; the two firms are likewise leading the renovation of the Mid-Manhattan Library branch located across Fifth Avenue, to reopen in 2020 as the entirely renovated Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library.

Work on the Schwarzman Building will begin in 2018 and continue through 2021. — AFP Relaxnews