Last Wednesday evening the New York Public Library, a private consortium of philanthropists, celebrated Steven Schwartzman for his gift of a 100 million dollars. He is the library’s largest donor in its entire history.
The NYSun article writes also of a $1 billion capital campaign for the library as Mr. Schwartzman’s motivation for the large donation.
Back up please… where is that money coming from?? Could we talk more about Mr. Schwartzman’s motivation?
“The biographer of Andrew Carnegie, David Nasaw, was summoned to give some grand historic context.”
“Somewhere Andrew Carnegie is watching us with a $100 million smile on his face. Nothing gave him greater pleasure than money well given. This is money well given,” adding that Mr. Schwarzman’s gift “shouts out to the city that books and knowledge matter more than ever.” —David Nasaw, Andrew Carnies biographer
And really, would Andrew Carnegie be smiling? I think not!
Please remember that Andrew Carnegie gave the buildings for almost all of the branch libraries throughout North America. The money for these buildings equivalent to billions of dollars today. Ah but for the fact that the consortium, NYPL, has sold off these buildings to match values in a fire sale, giving ground to their developer affiliates and members. It is this very “political” characteristic of the NYPL that Mr. Carnegie legally sought to balance for the sake of the public. To say the least, he was not a fan of the politics of the New York Public library. His donor intent was that the branches be maintained by the City, separate from NYPL.
Last year NYPL sold a branch library, Donnell Library in the Rockefeller Center, to Orient Express for a steal of $50+ million. No community boards voted nor were any public New York City council member meetings scheduled. In fact no official in New York City or State would comment except for the smoother in a moment, aside her slush fund, ‘oh isn’t is so nice they got so much money for that library, think of all the good it will do.’
Mr. Schwartzman bought a company from the Orient Express during this period and there have been numerous mentions in the press that he is vying a buy of the Orient Express Hotels.
“The waiter, an employee of Orient-Express Hotels (OEH – Cramer’s Take – Stockpickr) — the Bermuda-based public company that owns ’21’ and the company that Sternlicht, Schwartzman and Davis just bought — brings the check. No mogul makes a move.”–Getting All Aboard the Orient Express
see further: At A Crossroads with Andrew Carnegie —LibrariesRUs