They Had it Coming: New York Public Library Sued over Renovation Plans
January 1, 1970
The New York Public Library on 5th Avenue and 42nd Street is a landmark.
A group of prominent writers and scholars filed a lawsuit on Wednesday to stop the New York Public Library from demolishing the stacks in its flagship 42nd Street building or moving any books off the site. The complaint, filed in New York State Supreme Court, formalizes concerns about the Central Library Plan, which would replace the stacks with a circulating library and is expected to cost at least $300 million.
“Removal of the stacks, and the off-site displacement of the materials they hold, threatens to endanger the central library’s status as one of the world’s leading research facilities,” the complaint says, “and irrevocably alter the architectural integrity of the central library, a New York City landmark and a national historic landmark.” The plaintiffs include the writer Edmund Morris; the historian David Nasaw; Joan W. Scott, a social science professor at the Institute for Advanced Study; and Stanley N. Katz, a professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton.
Along with the library and its executives, the lawsuit names the city and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg as defendants.
“The renovation of the 42nd Street library will improve service for scholars, preserve the library’s collections for future generations and provide a state-of-the art circulating and business library,” the library said in a statement. “The library is working with all relevant state and city agencies, and we will let the outcome of this legal action — which we have not yet reviewed — speak for itself.”
Source: The New York Times.