The Donnell was closed in Aug 2008 by the NYPL without any warning to the public. Considering that 92% of the NYPL's operating budget comes from taxpayers, this should have been the subject of a public hearing but the City Council chose not to call for one. The Donnell was sold to Orient Express Hotels to build a hotel first stated to be 11 stories, and then, mysteriously without a zoning hearing, shot up to 40 stories. OE had a problem paying the money it owed in early 2009 and renegotiated a deal, still for the same $52 million, and now has to break ground in June 2010 or 2011 (I have no time to look up the date), or forfeit $30 million. According to their last report to Wall Street, they may look for a partner or walk away from the deal. All of this is a matter of public record and has been re ported on by Chelsea Now, the only paper that seems to be willing to stand up to developers. Developers are in charge in NY in case no one has noticed. There are some worthy and ethical developers, and others are not and are willing to influence the politicians who will not put barriers in their way. Want to Save the Donnell? Send an email with contact information to SavetheDonnellLibrary@gmail.com. A neighborhood group tried to get Community Board 5 to recommend Landmark Status for the library, and presented great evidence why it qualifies, but there was a glitch and the measure lost by 1 vote. We need leadership for this issue. It should not die.