The Transformation Project

We strive to be New York City’s hub for Hungarian cultural programs, specifically in literature, arts, and sciences. To better serve our community we want to transform the Library premises into a flexible use, vibrant social gathering place, where our members will be able to read, learn, socialize, and attend events and our programs. 

We have retained the architect firm HMA2, led by Henry Myerberg, who specialize in working with educational institutions and libraries. They have strong ties to, and connections with our community. You can read more about HMA2 and projects they have completed here

We will continue to inform you about the progress here. 


The Transformation Project

Make a Donation

Our plan is to dramatically transform our premises. Your donations and help are vital to achieving these goals:

  • We are starting a capital fundraising drive for the complete renovation of the Library. 

  • For this purpose we have received an anonymous matching grant of up to $100,000. If we can raise the equivalent amount, it will be sufficient to cover the entire renovation project (please see renderings in the above gallery)

  • We are pleased to offer donors the opportunity to have specific spaces dedicated with plaques.  

  • Renovating the Library is but the first step towards ultimately upgrading the entire Hungarian House so that the space can collectively meet the cultural needs of the Hungarian-American community in New York as well as visitors.

Thank you for your support

Donors who donated $1,000 and above

Katalin Kádár-Lynn

Kalman Magyar

Donors who donated $100 or above

Palma Benko


Get an inside look

Henry Myerberg from the architect firm HMA2 talks about the Transformation Project (click to watch the video)


A New Space

Founded in 1955, the American Hungarian Library and Historical Society was conceived to spark and satisfy curiosity about Hungarian art, literature, and culture, as well as to showcase the outstanding contribution made by Hungarians to the broader society, especially those living in the United States. 

The transformation project seeks to preserve the original mission of the library while reinvigorating it so that it can continue to thrive as an attractive and efficient resource, and a hub for New York’s Hungarian community and beyond. The renovation will enhance access to, and display of, the Library's unique collection with improved amenities to support a range of flexible programming and uses. A new, improved library, will emerge with a strengthened and unique identity, ability to conceive and deliver its aspirations, and consolidating its presence for times to come. 

The new space will offer significant updates to boost flexibility and attendance with the following:


  • Contemporary and welcoming ambience with new lighting and furniture in a more open space

  • Ambient and direct lighting throughout creating a comfortable and well-lit environment

  • An open and flexible space to hang out and socialize in comfort

  • Design elements that reflect our identity and speaks to all, especially younger generations


  • New embellishments for greater visibility at the entrance such as signage and decorative treatment to underscore a sense of cultural identity at the scale of the street 

  • Greater transparency at the entrance into the library through a new glazed door

  • Improved connection with the rest of the Hungarian House via new glazing and access to the adjacent stair lobby leading to the activities on the upper level


  • Variety of efficient new shelving systems to allow for different display opportunities for collections, exhibitions, and storage

  • The ceiling is opened to reveal the floor joists above, creating a feeling of greater height and comfort in the space

  • Improving existing inefficiencies to leverage space for programs and events

  • Creating capacity for the space to host multiple activities simultaneously


  • Dedicated meeting and learning room with the capacity to host the latest technology such as smart boards and video conferencing

  • Flexible furniture systems to create formal and informal layouts for classes, lectures, discussions, and socializing

  • A main space which can host events of up to 50 people


  • Enhanced display and shelving systems to create greater access to existing collections and archival material

  • Dedicated exhibition area with bespoke display cases

  • Flexible lounge space

  • Children’s ‘cozy’ corner

  • Cubbies with built in seating for individual reading and study

  • Seating nook integrated with new kitchenette/coffee bar for dining and pre-function use

  • Flexible slat wall system to accommodate a range of media for display

  • Dedicated and secure storage areas

  • Updated powder room


  • Built-in large flat screen TV for screenings and videoconferencing in the main room

  • Plans for a mobile smart board for greater flexibility and teaching opportunity in the back meeting/study  room

  • Enhanced ambient and task lighting throughout


  • Expanded kitchenette to facilitate opportunities to host events with food and drink service 

  • Enhanced programming with greater sense of cultural identity built into the space through the use of custom decorative patterns inspired by Hungarian cultural traditions and practitioners

  • Increased opportunities for development of classes, extracurricular groups and clubs

  • Flexible work and meeting arrangements

  • Support for small businesses, entrepreneurs and job seekers

  • Attractive facilities available for community hire — for example, special events, parties, small conferences, business meetings, etc.


©2020 by American Hungarian Library and Historical Society.