Urge LPC to comprehensively landmark the iconic NYPL interiors

LPC agenda

We need your support! LPC is proposing to calendar only *some* of the renowned interiors of the 42nd Street Library (476 Fifth Avenue). Although the public may not speak at the upcoming public meeting, you can submit written testimony online. Tell the LPC that they must calendar ALL of the eligible interiors of this masterpiece of American architecture. Please go to the LPC website and submit your comments before Monday, June 5th at 4:00pm:

http://www1.nyc.gov/site/lpc/about/submit-public-hearing-meeting-comments.page

The NYC Landmark Preservation Commission will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, June 6th to initiate the process to designate the NYPL 42nd Street Library interiors. This is a significant breakthrough, and we are enormously grateful that the Commission has finally decided to begin designating spaces that ought to have been landmarked years ago. Once the Commission votes to calendar the proposed items, the calendared interior spaces will receive a public hearing and the Commission will eventually vote to designate the spaces as interior landmarks.

Unfortunately, they’ve proposed calendaring just two of the thirteen public spaces that we had requested be designated interior landmarks. Only a few days ago, we had written to LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan and stressed the collective importance of the total assemblage of rooms within Carrère & Hasting’s master design for the library.

We wrote, “A piecemeal approach to interior designation does not adequately respect [its] design and leaves some of New York’s most sublime manifestations of Beaux-Arts interiors unprotected.”

These are the interiors the LPC wants to exclude from landmarking:

·      Samuel and Jeane H. Gottesman Exhibition Hall
·       DeWitt Wallace Periodicals Room
·       Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division Room
·       Celeste Bartos Forum
·       Edna B. Salomon Room
·       Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room for Rare Books and Manuscripts
·       Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Gallery
·       North-South Gallery
·       Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art & Architecture Room
·       Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Trustees Room
·       42nd Street Staircases

In January, we launched a petition and public campaign to landmark all of these spaces. Thanks to your support, we’ve spurred LPC to act. But their inexplicable decision to narrowly restrict the scope of interior landmark designation imperils many of these famous interiors. Let your voice be heard! Submitting your comments will only take a few moments, and you can help ensure these glorious spaces remain intact for future generations.

Below are photographs of just a few of the interiors LPC wants to deny landmark protection for:

Photograph of the Celeste Bartos Forum courtesy of NYPL. All other photographs taken by CSNYPL.

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