Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Shhh, this is a hotel

Now this is creative thinking to support libraries! The NY Public Library is partnering with Orient-Express hotels Ltd. to raise funds to renovate their libraries. And, our La Farge branch is being linked once again to the Tino Griego Pool, and the possibility of turning the pool building into classrooms for film related skills. But I doubt we will get income of $750 to $2,000 a night like the new New York Public Library and hotel is projected to charge for rooms. And the 21 Club is attached! I wonder if librarians will get a discount when they stay there?

Here are the facts:

The New York Public Library said yesterday that it had signed an agreement to sell the property and the building housing its Donnell branch in Midtown to Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. for $59 million. The five-story building on West 53rd Street will be razed to make way for an 11-story hotel, but the library will own and occupy space on the first floor and underground under the terms of the deal, the two sides said. Five floors of the hotel will connect to the ''21'' Club on 52nd Street, also owned by Orient-Express.

The construction project is estimated at $220 million. Planners said the hotel would have 150 rooms costing $750 to $2,000 per night and a restaurant on the top floor.

The sale may strike some as an odd mix of culture and commerce, but the library said it had little choice because the branch, built in 1955, was in dire need of renovations that the system could ill afford. Copyright New York Times Company Nov 7, 2007
(With thanks to JK at Main for bringing this article to our attention)

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