Nosy Neighbor: What’s happening to the Murray Street library?

From S.: I was wondering if you’ve heard anything about the construction of NYPL New Amsterdam branch on Murray Street. It was targeted for reopening in late 2019, but living nearby, I can tell you that it appears very little has been done in the way of construction.

A spokeswoman for the NYPL confirmed that the library (officially the New Amsterdam Library) closed on May 14, 2018, to receive a new HVAC system and interior renovations. It is scheduled to reopen in late 2019. (The branch opened in 1989 so was due for some renos.)

In more detail, the branch will get:

  • a new cooling system, in an effort to avoid some problems last summer
  • two new accessible bathrooms for the public
  • new ADA compliant entry doors
  • a hearing loop for the branch’s multi-purpose room
  • upgrades to its fire alarm and sprinkler system
  • general cosmetic improvements

During construction, patrons can use the Battery Park City Library at 175 North End Avenue or Chatham Square Library at 33 East Broadway. All items on hold at New Amsterdam Library will be delivered to the Battery Park City Library until the renovation is completed.

Previous Nosy Neighbor posts:



  1. New Amsterdam was closed for this renovation in May of *2018*. Any problems with AC during the summer happened in 2017 or earlier.

    • Yes, duh, May 2018. And not that I have to be an apologist for the NYPL, their press release from April of 2018 said it would be done in late 2019.

  2. Correct. In May 18, it was announced it would be done May ’19. That came and went, with re-announcement on docs in the windows projection fall 2019. It fits the usual trajectory for a public project: always add at least an extra year to the originally projected time of construction.

  3. Leo is correct. The place has been closed for more than a year. Originally they said it would reopen this summer. Anyone who has bother to look inside and still believes it will reopen in “late 2019” is delusional. Mind you …we are talking about essentially on big square room. And basically nothing has happened in 13 months. Safe bet that its way over budget, though.

  4. Now the NYPL announced it would be opened in Spring if 2020. No specific date was given. Let’s see if they would make this date.