New York Public Library
$1 billion plan back on track
Foster and Partners’ plans to redesign the New York Public Library in Manhattan have been reignited after four years in the doldrums.
The $300 million (£190 million) scheme is part of a $1 billion plan to overhaul the entire New York library system and was won in competition in 2008.
Foster’s beat 30 practices to land the commission to transform the existing 1911 building on Fifth Avenue into the world’s largest public library.
At the time the then library president said Norman Foster’s practice had been selected because of his personal enthusiasm and his understanding of the library.
The project faltered because of the economic downturn. But this week the board gave the practice approval to proceed with the next stage of designing a new circulating library inside the main branch. It will be built below the Rose Reading Room, overlooking Bryant Park.
Norman Foster said: “This is very good news. We greatly look forward to continuing the project and the creative dialogue that we have enjoyed with the library since the competition in 2008, shaping this distinguished institution for future generations.”
Stephen Schwarzman, a trustee who donated $100 million to the library in 2008, said he was glad to see the undertaking back on track. “The whole project has got enormous vitality,” he told the New York Times. “When it’s completed, people are going to be dazzled.”
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