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Literature

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library Still Dazzling New York

December 18, 2021

After opening earlier this year to rave reviews, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, formerly the run-down Mid-Manhattan Library in Midtown New York has been cited by the New York Times as one of 10 Works that Evaded the Algorithm this Year, for 2021.

It had been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic before it was redesigned by the Dutch firm Mecanoo with Beyer Blinder Belle and won acclaim for its clean white expanses and ‘Wizard Hat’ sculptural aluminum crown roof.

It has 400,000 books, is open for browsing, and was almost a goner as the city planned to sell the building that was in disrepair and send the books to a New Jersey facility.

“The SNFL is a powerhouse of wisdom,” said Mecanoo partner Francis Houben, reported Dezeen. “Its street presence brings drama and magic to Manhattan, visibly expressed with its wizard hat.”

“The Niarchos – as well as Toshiko Mori’s renovation of the Brooklyn Public Library – is an affirmation that cities need readers, and readers need print,” said The Times which in an earlier review called the makeover, “A glowing shrine to the printed word,” another cultural gem from SNF.

 

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