A division of the New York Public Library, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem is one of the world’s leading cultural institutions devoted to the research, preservation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences.
Originally established within the 135th Street Branch of the NY Public Library (1905), a Carnegie library designed by McKim, Mead & White, the Schomburg Center was greatly expanded with the construction of an adjacent new Modern building designed by J. Max Bond, Jr. of Bond Ryder Associates, completed in 1980.
During a period when the project had been temporarily cancelled due to lack of funds, Ada Louise Huxtable wrote “Bond, Ryder came up with a very good scheme. First, they had changed the program they were given from a large demolition and rebuilding project to something far more sensitive and sensible by calculating the future maintenance and staffing cost for what would have been an overambitious museum and library combination. They cut down the museum space and suggested that the McKim, Mead and White building be saved and recycled for the art and artifacts displays.” Huxtable concluded, “It is a simple, rational design, rich in neighborhood amenity, at once economical and potentially elegant.”