A Glowing Shrine to the Printed Word appears in the New York Times and is by James S. Russell who writes on architecture and cities.
Photo credit: Max Touhey
“Muddling along for four decades in a nondescript former department store, the Mid-Manhattan library, at Fifth Avenue and 40th Street, served a growing swarm of local residents and commuters even as the branch steadily became a dilapidated “embarrassment” to the New York Public Library system, as Anthony W. Marx, its president, put it.
“After three years of construction and $200 million, the library system was ready to reopen its largest circulating branch in spring 2020. Instead, the pandemic extended the closure. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, or SNFL, as it is now known (after a $55 million gift), finally threw open its doors to unlimited browsing in June.
“Its theatrically expressive heart is a dramatic atrium billowing upward from the second floor, where book lovers will delight in a vista of the vast circulating collection of up to 400,000 volumes. The branch is phasing in its extensive programming over the coming months. (On July 6, the New York and Queens library systems fully reopen, and Brooklyn will follow days later.)…”
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