It’s typical for a public institution to announce a big building project with fanfare. But when the same project is dropped, the institution may invoke its right to remain silent.
That’s what happened with a plan to turn part of the New York Public Library (NYPL), at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, into a public lending library. Renderings were released in 2012 at a press conference presided over by library president Anthony Marx and the project’s architect, Norman Foster. But when the plan—which would have turned the stacks below the library’s main reading room into a circulating library—was abandoned, the library didn’t say a word. A New York Times reporter learned of the cancellation when she called the library to ask about the project’s status.