What was hidden by the garage is a row of windows on the ground floor, which have been bricked up, reminiscent of arrow slits and similar to those along the State Street side of the building.
The link provided in a comment yesterday by "Prison Alley" leads to the New York State Military Museum website and a series of pictures of the Hudson Armory dating from the early 1950s, before the garage was built. Among them is this picture of the Short Street side of the building.
Since the plan to build a new addition to the building in the footprint of the garage was abandoned, the project has not been back before the Historic Preservation Commission. It seems that it probably should. Whatever is intended for this side of the building, they are now dealing with historic fabric, and the proposed treatment should require a certificate of appropriateness. Wouldn't it be grand if the intention were to open up the windows again? But that would probably entail some changes to the design for the interior space since the plans of the library were made with the assumption that this would be not an exterior wall but a shared wall with the proposed medical wing.
Maybe the plans have already been modified to take advantage of more sources of natural light, but that's not known. No plans appear on the library's website and the ones on the architect's website don't seem to be up-to-date.
COPYRIGHT 2014 CAROLE OSTERINK