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New Midtown library is exactly what NYC needs after pandemic 

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Last week, after more than a decade of false starts, the New York Public Library ­unveiled its fully renovated Midtown book-lending building on Fifth Avenue. The eight-story library is a Midtown triumph. As New York recovers from the pandemic, Gotham needs more projects like this: less “reimagining,” more back-to-basics nuts and bolts.

The new library is a full-scale refurbishment of the shell of the 106-year-old limestone edifice, once home to the Arnold, Constable & Co. department store. NYPL has operated a library there since 1970, lending out 2 million books, DVDs and other materials every year.

But NYPL shuttered the building four years ago for the $200 million gut reworking. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation, funded by the late Greek shipping ­tycoon, funded a quarter of its cost, so the library has named the new branch after him.

The first thing you notice in the new library is the natural light. The huge old-store windows mean that on sunny days, at least, it’s easy to browse without much help from artificial lighting.

The second thing you notice is that the smart design allows for lots of open space and lots of books — a capacity of 400,000. There is floor after floor, not........

© New York Post

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