Harlem’s Schomburg Kicks Off $22M Overhaul

December 20, 2015


The New York Public Library’s Central Branch isn’t the only of the institution’s properties getting a face lift. Today, the library kicked-off a $22 million renovation of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. The facilities at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard will undergo a multi-year renovation led by Marble Fairbanks Architects, Westerman Construction Company, and the City Department of Design and Construction. The renovation will relocate and increase the size of the center’s gift shop, overhaul its second-floor reading room, expand its Rare Book Collection vault, reconfigure its interior to create improved public space and an interactive gallery, update the Langston Hughes Auditorium, and add new conference space and improved staff quarters. The building’s exterior will also get a major overhaul. Video displays and artifact vitrines will be added to the 1905 landmarked building’s east wall allowing for outdoor exhibits and landscaping and benches will be added around the exterior.

LED signage added to the building’s lobby will be visible from the street.

The video displays and artifact vitrines along the building’s east wall will also help extend the center’s programming into the community.


The renovation is the second part of a larger project in action at the Schomburg Center. The first wrapped up in 2007 and included a new lobby and scholar’s center, and a refurbished main reading room. This second phase is expected to wrap up in 2017 (source).

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