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Library at 20 East End Avenue via Evan Joseph Library at 20 East End Avenue via Evan Joseph
It was not long ago that the life of the hard copy book was declared dead. E-books gained popularity, social media took over the world, and page-bound books were deemed an archaic relic of the past only fit for fireplace fuel. Well, as it goes, many old-school trends experience a resurgence if they are patient enough. Now, not only is the physical book back and stronger than ever, the New York Times just declared the resurgence of hard copy books the “comeback of the century” and the perfect decor for luxury spaces.

This hot trend has not escaped New York City developers’ attention. In the real estate world, high-end developers are allocating precious square footage from common areas and dedicating them to elegant, activated libraries. Beyond that, they are seeking outside experts to curate the libraries creating literary gems sprinkled throughout the city.
Before Nancy Ruddy, Founding Principal of CetraRuddy Architecture and designer of NoMad's blossoming Rose Hill, conceived of the residential building’s library space, she first looked up the definition of “library” in Webster and architectural dictionaries. “What I learned about libraries is that yes, libraries are repositories of important documents but they are curated collections of books, art, and artifacts. So we started to think of our library not as just a book-lined room, but as a space where knowledge is imparted and where there can be wonder about the world.”

In this article:

Madison Square Park Tower, 45 East 22nd Street
Madison Square Park Tower, 45 East 22nd Street Flatiron/Union Square
40 East End Avenue
40 East End Avenue Yorkville
565 Broome Street
565 Broome Street SoHo
20 East End Avenue
20 East End Avenue Yorkville
The Shephard, 275 West 10th Street
The Shephard, 275 West 10th Street West Village
Library-01 Library lounge via Rockefeller Group
Ruddy explains that because the Rockefeller Group is developing the building, “We had an amazing provenance of this incredible family who, in addition to the world of business and politics, made such a major imprint in our country, and in particular, in New York as huge patrons of libraries, museums, and the arts.” Ruddy designed the library as a tip of the hat to that special history and created a space that felt old world (think decor inspired by stately university clubs and blue lacquered walls referencing antique, cloth-covered books of the past), at the same time, remained forward thinking.
CetraRuddy ultimately designed a space that will transform the lobby from a walk-through to an activated space that invites residents to stop, congregate, chat, have cocktails, and enjoy things that may not be in their individual apartments. To that end, CetraRuddy engaged the Strand bookstore to curate the library with great literature of New York writers, many of which are out of print. In addition to the famous writers of New York’s past, like Edith Wharton and Dorothy Parker, there will also be old articles about the city as well as political cartoons from Tammany Hall. Ruddy comments, “It will be a library that has character and will have an attitude about it.” How very fitting for New York.

Here are some of the other spectacular curated libraries with tons of tony tomes around town:
45-East-22nd-Street-1 Library via Evan Joseph
Madison Square Park Tower, the tallest residential building between Midtown and Lower Manhattan, just unveiled their stunning library, with interiors by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. The double-height, wood-paneled sanctuary overlooks a bijou garden by Oehme Van Sweden and serves as an extension of the lobby, the multi-level library features seating areas that surround a bronze-and-wood detailed spiral staircase, which leads to the book-lined mezzanine, where the selections were carefully curated by Ian Bruce Eichner, the Founder and Chairman of the Continuum Company. Eichner commented, “I'm an avid reader with interests in art, architecture, travel, history, and wine, which is also true of many of our residents. When it came time to select the books for the building's library, we decided to work with the famed publisher and retailer, TASCHEN, to help us expand upon these subjects to build a well-rounded and thoughtful collection. The library has become one of the building's most popular amenities, which we feel is a testament to this carefully curated selection of books."
565-Broome-Street-1 Library via No?? and Associates
Developed by global real estate firm Bizzi & Partners Development, Aronov Development and Halpern Real Estate Ventures, 565 Broome, is the first residential building in New York City designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano. 565 Broome will feature a 90-foot-tall, residents-only glass-encased lounge and conservatory with a wet bar and a library of books curated exclusively by TASCHEN. Additionally, the building offers a first-of-its-kind “book butler,” a complimentary concierge service that allows residents to customize their home library collections with the help of a TASCHEN curator.
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20-East-End-Avenue-1 Library via Evan Joseph
20 East End Avenue is a luxury condominium designed inside and out by the renowned Robert A.M. Stern Architects. The dreamy library has an extensive book collection on the history of New York that was curated by Mr. Stern himself. Nestled on the second floor overlooking East End Avenue, the library features a fireplace with a Pietra Serena hearth surrounded by Paonazzo marble, as well as French walnut doors. The paneled walls and ceiling feature a grey lacquer finish, while ample seating allows residents to relax and get lost in a novel.
275-West-10th-Street-1 Library via Naftali Group
The Shephard, located at 275 West 10th Street in the West Village, features a resident library curated by Assouline, who make coffee table books art. Developed by Naftali Group with interiors by renowned Gachot Studios, the beautifully paneled library sits just off the building’s lush private garden and features mahogany millwork with bronze metal detailing and absolute black garniture countertops, encaustic tiles, olive knuckle door hinges and bronze mirror above countertops.
40-East-End-Avenue-1 Library via Binyan Studios
40 East End Avenue, developed by Lightstone, is a stunning new boutique Upper East Side condominium designed by Deborah Berke Partners in collaboration with Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel Architects. Deborah Berke, architect and Hamptons-local, partnered with BookHampton to curate the library. In 2016, Deborah led the redesign of the iconic bookshop, which was honored with the East End Design award. 40 East End Avenue has beautiful light, water views and access to some of the city’s most beautiful parks. Inspired by this, BookHampton will select titles that focus on art, design, architecture, gardens, nature, entertaining and children’s classics for the space.
475-Clermont-Avenue-1 Library via RXR Realty
This trend is not limited to condominiums. Located at the intersection of Brooklyn’s burgeoning Fort Greene and Clinton Hill neighborhoods, the 12-story rental building is designed by New York-based Aufgang Architects, with interiors by Durukan Design. A library area in the main lobby is beautifully enhanced with a curated selection of books from Strand.
Would you like to tour any of these properties?
Just complete the info below.
  1. Select which properties are of interest to you:

Or call us at (212) 755-5544
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Contributing Writer Michelle Sinclair Colman Michelle writes children's books and also writes articles about architecture, design and real estate. Those two passions came together in Michelle's first children's book, "Urban Babies Wear Black." Michelle has a Master's degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota and a Master's degree in the Cities Program from the London School of Economics.