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New York Public Library’s Renovation Plans Include Views Of Bryant Park

New York Public Library Renovation Rendering (credit: dbox / Foster + Partners)

New York Public Library Renovation Rendering (credit: dbox / Foster + Partners)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The New York Public Library is unveiling plans for a major renovation of its landmark Fifth Avenue building.

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British architect Norman Foster’s plan will open up space in the back of the building that is now occupied by stacks. There will be a four-level atrium with views of Bryant Park.

“The greatest renovation that this building has seen in its history,” said library President Tony Marx.

Long-view illustration of all five floors of the lending library. (credit: dbox / Foster + Partners)

Long-view illustration of all five floors of the lending library. (credit: dbox / Foster + Partners)

The renovation plan initially provoked controversy because the library proposed moving millions of books into storage in New Jersey to make room for a new circulating library.

The library revised its plan in response, and officials now say that 3.3 million of the research library’s 4.5 million volumes will remain on site.

Foster says books will be relocated under Bryant Park.

“There’s some extraordinary spaces which were originally conceived for public use,” he said.

The view of the new lending library when patrons first enter through Gottesman Exhibition Hall. (credit: dbox / Foster + Partners)

The view of the new lending library when patrons first enter through Gottesman Exhibition Hall. (credit: dbox / Foster + Partners)

The library expects construction to begin in 2013 and to be completed in 2018.

Officials said Wednesday the project’s original $300 million price estimate will likely rise.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)