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The iconic Rose Main Reading Room at the New York Public Library‘s 103-year-old 42nd Street flagship will remain closed for six months after a plaster rosette fell from the ceiling last month, according to a press release.

The nearly two-block-long room, which sees an average of 2.3 million visitors each year, boasts gorgeous 52-foot tall ceilings adorned with intricate plaster detailing and murals of billowing pink clouds. The space was last restored in 1998, thanks to a $15 million gift from the Rose family, whom the room is now named after.

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Since 2012, the New York Public Library has received considerable criticism stemming from its plan to renovate its landmark building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. On Wednesday, April 16, the backlash continued when a group of scholars filed a lawsuit stating that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his administration approved the renovation project without fully evaluating its environmental impact.

The lawsuit argues that the project was approved the same day that the library submitted its application, which did not allow for an adequate assessment of the effects of the renovation. The suit asks the court to annul the approval and assign the matter to the City Council or another agency.

Initially, the New York Public Library planned to clear out the book stacks in the century-old back portion of its building, which would require relocating over three million volumes to a storage space under Bryant Park as well as another facility in Princeton, NJ. In July 2013, a group of historians and preservationists filed a lawsuit asking library officials and the project’s architect, Norman Foster, to reconsider their plan. The group also filed an application to have the library’s iconic Rose Main Reading Room landmarked in order to protect the book stacks. When the city approved the library’s proposal in December 2013, it demanded that the library develop a plan to protect the reading room and create an historical record of any book stacks that could be demolished in the renovation. The library has been working with Foster to create a new design that would retain the reading room and the book stacks. The plan has not yet been released.

Two lawsuits aiming to halt the renovation are still pending.

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Back in December 2012, officials at the New York Public Library (NYPL) received considerable opposition after releasing a number of important details pertaining to the institution’s $300 million renovation. The part of the project that prompted the most backlash involved clearing out the century-old back portion of the library, which is housed in a landmark building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Over three million volumes were to be relocated to a storage space under Bryant Park as well as another facility in Princeton, NJ.

In July 2013, a group of historians and preservationists filed a lawsuit again the library, asking NYPL officials and the project’s architect, Norman Foster, to reconsider their plan. The group also filed an application to have the library’s iconic Rose Main Reading Room landmarked in order to protect the book stacks, which support the room’s structural integrity.

While the lawsuit has not yet gone to court, the NYPL’s president, Anthony Marx, and Foster have responded to the plaintiffs, insisting that a revised plan, which will be released this fall, includes a new circulating library under the Rose Main Reading Room. Marx and Foster also announced that the new design will incorporate the book stacks as “a prominent feature.”

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