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Notable New     Yorkers
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Andrew HeiskellAndrew Heiskell
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amiably running the place. And somehow, Dietel, the Rockefellers, and Brook Astor convinced Dick Salomon to become chairman. And he became chairman and took the job very seriously. And did his best. Were it not for Brook Astor and Dick Salomon I think the whole thing would have just tipped into bankruptcy. In the 1970s the cut-backs were so bad that some branches were only opened eight hours a week. Some librarians serviced three branches in a week. The main building with all these incredibly valuable possessions, just one of them by the way, the other day was valued at ten million dollars, were in stacks that were not air conditioned. They'd been asking for money from the City for air conditioning for twenty years but nothing had happened. I then decided to have a study made of the situation by Cambridge Associates.


This is when you were still on the board?


Yes. To sort of take a look at what our future might be like, and after about six months they reported that if we continued to go the way we were going we would have used up fifty-five million dollars of our endowment. And given that our endowment then was about seventy million we would be out of business because the income on the endowment helps to pay the costs of the research end of the Library. There are four research buildings: the main building on Forty-second Street, the annex on Eleventh and Forty-third Street, the Performing Arts Research Center in Lincoln Center, and the Schomburg Center for Black Culture on a Hundred and Thirty-fifth Street and Lenox. Those are, to a large extent supported by private

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