The December issue of the New Criterion magazine contains a feature article titled “Philanthropic Tyranny at the NYPL” slamming the proposed Central Library Plan. Money quote (quite literally):
It is conspicuous that the guiding figure of the project was Marshall Rose, the chairman emeritus of the library and perhaps New York’s wealthiest real estate magnate. Fittingly, Rose seems to have conceived of the CLP in terms of an immense real estate operation—a bold sale of properties, the exploitation of a prime location with underperforming use (80,000 square feet on Fifth Avenue, prime Manhattan real estate used for—squandered on—book storage!), and finally a dazzling new project by a celebrity architect, in this instance one who specializes in dramatically impaling historical monuments.
Like many of our cultural institutions (one thinks of the Barnes Foundation), the New York Public Library seems fated to be a victim of what must be termed philanthropic tyranny: the willingness of an institution’s stewards to subordinate its long-term interests to the short-term interests of donors and charitable trusts.
The full article can be found here:
It’s unusual, to say the least, for the New Criterion and Nation magazines to agree on anything, but the NYPL’s planned changes to the 42nd Street and Mid-Manhattan libraries have united them in opposition!