Landmark NY Library to Be Renamed for Donor

Wall Street financier donates $100 million
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2008 3:30 AM CDT
Stephen Schwarzman and his wife Christin. Schwarzman is donating $100 Million to the New York Public Library. In return the Fifth Avenue landmark reference library will be renamed for him. (AP Photo/Jose...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Following the style of sports stadiums, Manhattan's stately beaux arts library on Fifth Avenue will be renamed for a key contributor to a billion-dollar expansion of the library system. Private equity king Stephen Schwarzman is giving the library $100 million from his several-billion-dollar fortune, reports the New York Times. Schwarzman, 61, chief executive of the Blackstone Group, says renaming the landmark building—with plans to etch his moniker into the facade—was not his idea.

“They said, ‘We’d like you to be the lead gift and give us $100 million and we’d like to rename the main branch after you.' I said, ‘That sounds pretty good,'" he recalled. The decision is hardly a first;  new building at the Museum of Modern Art was recently named after donors David and Peggy Rockefeller. But the move may be controversial—private equity partners have come under congressional attack because of a tax break that allows them to pay a dramatically lower rate than other earners.