|Credit Santiago Mejia/The New York Tim|
More a theater for learning than a citadel of research, the new 53rd Street Library offers one surprise after the next as it unfolds below the sidewalks of New York.
Monday was opening day.
The 53rd Street Library is the long-awaited, long-delayed replacement for the Donnell Library Center, a beloved and heavily used branch of the New York Public Library system. Donnell was also that increasingly precious thing: a free civic amenity in one of the poshest areas of Manhattan.
It closed in 2008. Its replacement was supposed to be ready in three years, but the redevelopment of the site, between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas, was derailed by the national economic crisis. Ultimately the library sold the property for $67.4 million in 2011 to Tribeca Associates and Starwood Capital. Read more...