Foster + Partner's controversial renovation plans for the New York Public Library (NYPL) are currently in a state of limbo while the city decides their course of action. Foster's proposal for the 20th century Carrère and Hastings "masterpiece" on 5th Avenue is a response to the cultural shift from traditional stacks to online resources, as the library has experienced a 41% decrease in the use of collections over the last 15 years.
Although the renovation promises to "preserve the building’s legacy as it integrates a new, state-of-the-art Circulating Library into its flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street", Robin Progrebin of the New York Times, has reported that Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City, is letting the $150 million in capital funds set aside for the project sit idle while cost analysis is undertaken. The Committee to Save the New York Public Library, who oppose the renovation works, have "forwarded about 3,000 email letters from supporters imploring the mayor to reconsider the plan".
From a design point of view, "the library has maintained that the stacks in their current state are unworkable because they lack humidity and temperature control." Foster + Partners are reportedly reworking the design. According to Tony Marx, President of the NYPL, the library is "simply taking the time to get it right."
References: New York Times