A $100 Million Donation to the N.Y. Public Library





The New York Public Library’s venerable lion-guarded building on Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street is to be renamed for the Wall Street financier Stephen A. Schwarzman, who has agreed to jump-start a $1 billion expansion of the library system with a guaranteed $100 million of his own.

The project, to be announced on Tuesday, aims to transform the Central Library into a destination for book borrowing as well as research. The Mid-Manhattan branch, on the east side of Fifth Avenue at 40th Street, will be sold and its circulating collection absorbed into the new space.

The gift from Mr. Schwarzman, a library trustee and buyout guru who made fortunes as the chief executive of the Blackstone Group, is among the largest to any cultural institution in the city’s history. The 1911 Beaux Arts structure on Fifth Avenue will be called the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building after construction is completed around 2014. The building is protected by landmark status, and the library expects the name to be etched on the building should approval be granted by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.


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