New York Public Library Branch to Become Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library

 

A rendering of the new Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library in midtown Manhattan. Photo: Mecanoo with Beyer Blinder Belle/SNF.org

A major branch of the New York Public Library will be renamed the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, according to a recent press release from the SNF, as a result of the Foundation’s transformational gift of $55 million.

The historic midtown Manhattan institution has undergone a complete renovation and refurbishment in the process of its complete metamorphosis into the new SNF Library.

To be opened during the month of July, the new branch will soon offer “grab and go” book lending services, but the gala grand opening of the building will have to wait until a later date.

“Public libraries are paradigmatic public institutions offering communities an array of critical services that extend far beyond the lending of books,” said SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos. “The varied roles of public libraries place them, more than ever before, at the heart of our civic societies.”

The spacious and user-friendly building will have fully four floors of open stacks for patrons’ browsing pleasure as well as an adult learning center and a spectacular rooftop terrace. The gift also establishes an endowment for programming at the renovated library.

The building already serves as New York City’s largest circulating library, counting more than 1.7 visits annually.

“This gift is a culmination of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s long-standing and unwavering commitment to libraries around the globe,” said Library President Tony Marx of the grant.

The New York Times report on the grant quoted Andreas Dracopoulos, SNF Co-President, as saying “The idea that there would be one hub, one campus, was very important to us…We want people to say, ‘I’m going to the library,’ without anyone having to ask, ‘The one on the right side of Fifth Avenue, or on the left?’ ”

The generosity of the Foundation will enable the creation of countless programs for children, teens, and adults. In addition, according to the Foundation, it will help establish an inspiring “Midtown campus” that will reconnect the circulating library with the Library’s iconic research center, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.