This Gorgeous Rooftop Reading Nook Is Now Open At NYPL’s New Midtown Branch

Claire Leaden Claire Leaden

This Gorgeous Rooftop Reading Nook Is Now Open At NYPL’s New Midtown Branch

A breezy rooftop seems like the perfect space to curl up with a good new read!

The $200 million renovation to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL) on 40th St. and Fifth Ave, formerly known as the Mid-Manhattan Library, finally opened to New Yorkers last month — and patrons were anxiously awaiting news of its brand new rooftop terrace.

And as of Tuesday, July 6, it is finally open as well!

NYPL/ John Bartelstone

The New York Public Library began renovating SNFL, which hadn’t been updated since the 1970s, in August of 2017. It has been quite an expansive project, as the building actually was first designed as a department store! You can read even more details about the renovation here.

It was originally supposed to open in May, but was pushed back due to COVID-19. Now it’s finally open to visitors, offering nearly full service including general library use and seating, unlimited browsing, computer access, and more (following most other NYPL branches that opened to full capacity on Tuesday, July 6). “In-person programs and classes will resume in July at some locations and expand over the coming months,” the NYPL has stated.

Courtesy of NYPL

The new library boasts hundreds of thousands of books, spaces for programs and classes, new, expansive areas dedicated to children and teens, the Pasculano Learning Center offering career services, English language and literacy classes, media and technology training, and a multimedia studio, and a world-class Business Center.

NYPL/ John Bartelstone

However, one of the most exciting features undoubtedly is the only free, public rooftop space in Midtown that opened on July 6. It’s the perfect spot to admire city views while enjoying a captivating read. Enjoy views of Midtown Manhattan and open-air seating (with limited capacity at this time). You can even book it out for an event there.

Courtesy of NYPL
NYPL/ John Bartelstone

“This library is exactly what New York needs right now: a truly open and public place accessible to all, where people of all ages and backgrounds can experience wonder, grow in their understanding of the world, and launch on new trajectories that enrich life for all of us,” said Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), Andreas Dracopoulos. 

featured image source: NYPL / John Bartelstone

Practical information

Hours: Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Sundays

In other news: Times Square’s Only Outdoor Pool Is Coming To New York City Next Month