The New York Public Library
New York, NY
This long-ignored exhibition gallery had undergone years of neglect and misuse; during World War II, the Gallery’s valuable holdings were shipped to storing facilities in upstate New York and the Gallery became a series of desultory office cubicles. It remained this way until 1982, when Davis Brody Bond was retained by the Library to restore this once-marvelous architectural space. The restoration included tearing away fluorescent lights and a dropped ceiling to reveal the original work of Carrère and Hastings. In addition to the restoration, the firm integrated state-of-the-art exhibition technologies to insure the security of the space and the safety of its treasured exhibits.
The need for spaces for the exhibition of the Library’s collections — including books, manuscripts, prints, photographs and paintings — led to the development of the new Gottesman and Salomon Galleries, as well as the galleries for the Wallach Division of Art, Architecture, Prints and Photographs. Stringent curatorial and conservation requirements were met within the constraints of the historic spaces.