Bookish Living: Municipal Art Society Proposes Turning Libraries into Apartments

screen shot 2012 03 22 at 11 13 24 am Bookish Living: Municipal Art Society Proposes Turning Libraries into Apartments

Who wouldn't want to call this home?

If you  aren’t comfortable living in a church, that’s fine. But what about a library?

The Municipal Arts Society is leading the conversation on converting public libraries into apartment buildings, the Real Deal reports. President Vin Cipolla noted that the change in technology (read: Kindles and iPads) will lead to under-used, or even unused, library spaces.

“What will 21st Century libraries look like when they go digital?” Mr. Cipolla told The Real Deal yesterday. “There’s going to be development opportunity, unused space opportunity.”

Mr. Cipolla further released a statement for clarifiction—it isn’t that he wants to turn all the libraries into apartments, but rather that he wants help the community:

We are not working on a plan to turn underused city library space into housing: we are looking for new ways to support libraries to be libraries, and provide local communities with access to information, resources, cultural experience and opportunities for enrichment.

A spokesperson for New York Public Libraries denied discussing possible plans with MAS and that “[it] is not on the table.”

Eric Bederman, a spokesperson for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, added that the requirements and specifications for affordable housing are different for public libraries. Ouch.

That plan burned out faster than a copy of Catcher in the Rye.

mewing@observer.com