On its completion in 1911, the New York Public Library’s Main Branch was the largest marble structure in the United States. Now known as the Humanities and Social Sciences Library, it is undergoing a complex three year façade and roof restoration to reverse the forces of weather and urban pollution.
The first phase of the project included the installation of 420 linear feet of scaffold with five levels of working decks erected on top of a sidewalk shed facing Bryant Park. Careful scheduling allowed the scaffold erection to be performed so as to incur only minimal disruption to library and park users and patrons of the nearby restaurant. Also included in phase one were scaffolds on several roofs and in the two interior courtyards.
Phase two will involve providing scaffolding for the restoration contractors to continue their work on the north and south facades, while the third phase will bring the scaffolding around to the main entrance on Fifth Avenue behind the familiar statues of the lions “Patience” and “Fortitude”.