NYPL Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Tours
11:00 am
12:30 pm
2:30 pm
4:00 pm
Marble Fairbanks Architects, 2017

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is one of the world’s leading research facilities focusing exclusively on African-American, African Diaspora, and African experiences. The Schomburg Center is a research unit of The New York Public Library dedicated to collecting, preserving, and providing access to materials documenting black life, and promoting the study of the history and culture of peoples of African descent.

Designed through NYC DDC’s Excellence Program, this recently completed project spans three connected buildings at the Schomburg Center: the Schomburg Building, Langston Hughes Building, and Landmark Building. Work undertaken consists of exterior and interior renovations throughout the Schomburg Center including historic preservation and renovation work of the Landmark Building by McKim, Mead & White and an addition to the Schomburg Building.

The design seeks to enhance how the Schomburg Center interfaces with the public and surrounding Harlem community by displaying portions of its vast collection and current events to the street. Features of the design include LED display systems, interactive information panels, and a new streetscape. Additions include the gift shop and conference room as well as interior renovations to multiple research divisions.

As of 2017, the Schomburg Center is a National Historic Landmark. The exhibit, Black Power!, is currently on view in the Main Exhibition Hall. The galleries and gift shop are open to the public during normal library hours.

During OHNY Weekend, tours with the architects will offer visitors access to normally off-limits areas behind the scenes at this brand new facility.

Saturday Tour Info: OpenDialogue tours with Marble Fairbanks Architects will last approximately 1 hr.

Access Notes: There is an electric door switch at the front door. All areas on the tour are wheelchair accessible. Tour attendees may be required to check bags. No children 12 & under. No food or drinks in the building. No photography or videography (excluding exterior and gift shop of the Center).

This site is part of the special series Celebrating Civic Excellence, highlighting buildings completed or renovated through the NYC Department of Design and Construction’s Design + Construction Excellence program. Click here to read more and see the full list of participating sites.


Reservations for this tour are now sold out. Interested in exploring brand new libraries designed by New York City-based architects? You may also enjoy the Kew Gardens Hills Library, the newest branch of the Queens Library system, which requires no reservations! Click on the site’s name to check out its Open Access listing.


Image credit: Marble Fairbanks Architects