Remember the Dewey Decimal System? The New York Public Library, New York’s most famous library (aka the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building), which turned 100 in 2011, is situated in a grand Beaux-Arts icon east of Times Square. It’s fronted by marble lions named ‘Patience’ and ‘Fortitude,’ and is just a jaw-dropper to walk through, particularly the reading room which seats up to 500 patrons reading with the aid of the library’s original Carre-and-Hastings lamps. There are exhibits, too, including a copy of the original Declaration of Independence, a Gutenburg Bible, plus 431,000 old maps. There are free tours at 11am and 2pm Monday to Saturday and 2pm Sundays (closed Sunday in summer).
If they only had libraries like this everywhere else.
Take a short walk through the New York Public Library (a stone's throw away from Times Square). You might recognize some of the rooms from movies..
Certainly worth dropping in on and seeing!
This is one gorgeous building. The New York Public Library (Midtown - 5th Avenue) is a Beaux-Arts confection well worth a wander. Designed by architects Carrère & Hastings and built 1902-1911, it was financed through combined endowments from Samuel J. Tilden, John Jacob Astor and James Lenox and was, at that time, the largest marble structure ever constructed in the United States.
• The Deborah, Jonathan F. P., Samuel Priest, and Adam R. Rose Main Reading Room (third floor)
• McGraw rotunda with WPA Project murals and ceiling by Edward Laning (third floor)
• The REAL Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga, and Tigger (ground floor, Children's Room)
• A rare Gutenberg Bible (may or may not be on display)
The library offers free tours and a bookshop - see the website for hours, details, floor plan and much more about the history. Click "Humanities and Social Sciences Library" for this particular branch, or just use my link. You'll be expected to pass through a security check to enter the library, exit the Reading Room, and to check large bags, umbrellas, etc.
The librarian/docent led tour is really enriching. They are available for free twice daily. The architecture and history of the library is beautiful and interesting. The philosophy of making the library open to ALL is inspiring, and the depth of the library holdings is amazing. They have a Gutenberg bible on display as well as the original stuffed animals from Winnie the Pooh.
Proving that some of the best things in life, even in New York City, are free was turning out to be easier than expected but it's one thing to find them outdoors and another to find some inside, especially on a cold winter's day. I can thank my wife for this one and it shouldn't have come as such a surprise as we had just a few months earlier been blown away by the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Yes, we're talking about the New York City Public Library. While not quite as elaborate as its DC counterpart, it emanates New York City power, style, and class none-the-less. To put it in perspective, it is leagued with its Congressional counterpart, Boston Public Library, and Harvard and Yale's libraries as amongst the five most important libraries in the US. But we weren't here to actually do any research, we just wanted to soak in all its atmosphere, glance at its Lenox copy of the Gutenberg Bible, and imagine being able to use this incredible place on a regular basis. One more reason to want to live in NYC, right?
Hungarian visitors are likely looking for Mihaly Munkacsy’s oil on canvas painting, "Blind Milton dictating 'Paradise Lost' to his daughters" which can be found in the Edna Barnes Salomon room on the third floor gallery.
The famous hungarian painter was rewarded with gold medal on the Exposition Universelle 1900 in Paris for this picture.
Except some colors of the furnishings and in the youngest girl’s rosy cheek, this is so dark a painting, you can almost feel your own sight dimming as you take it in.
I was surprised to encounter “Blind Milton” here again, knowing that it is on permanent exhibition at the Hungarian National Gallery in the Royal Palace-Budapest.
As it turns out, there are two version of Munkácsy’s painting, the one in Budapest is the smaller of the two.
If you are interested in cognition of some other masterworks of him, in the Metropolitan Museum you can do it, according to my knowledge at least three paintings are in the museum.
Open Mon, Thurs-Sat 10am-6pm, Tues-Wed 11am-7:30pm, Closed on Sunday
Free tours Monday to Saturday at 11am and 2pm
On May 23, 1911, the main branch of the New York Public Library was officially opened in a ceremony presided over by President William Howard Taft. The following day, the public was invited. Tens of thousands thronged to the Library's "jewel in the crown." The opening day collection consisted of more than 1,000,000 volumes. The New York Public Library instantly became one of the nation's largest libraries and a vital part of the intellectual life of America.
Two famous stone lions guarding the entrance were sculpted by Edward Clark Potter. They were originally named Leo Astor and Leo Lenox, in honor of the library's founders. These names were transformed into Lady Astor and Lord Lenox.
The main reading room of the Research Library (Room 315) is a majestic 78 feet (23.8 m) wide by 297 feet long, with 52 feet high ceilings—lined with thousands of reference books on open shelves along the floor level and along the balcony; lit by massive windows and grand chandeliers; furnished with sturdy wood tables, comfortable chairs, and brass lamps. Today it is also equipped with computers with access to library collections and the Internet and docking facilities for laptops. Readers study books brought to them from the library's closed stacks. There are special rooms for notable authors and scholars, many of whom have done important research and writing at the Library. But the Library has always been about more than scholars, during the Great Depression, many ordinary people, out of work, used the Library to improve their lot in life.
The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965. Over the decades, the library system added branch libraries, and the research collection expanded until, by the 1970s, it was clear the collection eventually would outgrow the existing structure. In the 1980s the central research library added more than 125,000 square feet of space and literally miles of bookshelf space to its already vast storage capacity to make room for future acquisitions. This expansion required a major construction project in which Bryant Park, directly west of the library, was closed to the public and excavated. The new library facilities were built below ground level and the park was restored above it.
Established in 1895, the New York Public Library is one of the most important libraries in the United States. It has numerous locations around New York, but its main edifice is on Fifth Ave and 42nd St. It was built in the early 20th century, and inaugurated in 1911, in a Beaux-Arts style with classical inspirations designed by the architecture firm, Carrère & Hastings. At the time of its completion the New York Library was the largest marble building in the United States. Two large lion sculptures by the sculptor Edward Clark Potter flank the main entrance, nicknamed "Patience" and "Fortitude". The halls of the library are amazingly decorated with marble, carved wood and ceiling frescoes. Occasional interesting exhibitions take place within the library, but otherwise, it is worth visiting the interior simply to glance at its beautiful halls. And while you're visiting, do not miss Bryant Park, which is located behind the library building. With its giant plane trees and cafés set against the Beaux-Arts library building, the park is reminiscent of Paris. In summer months, open air concerts and movies are played at the park.
Back in 1902, Dr. John Shaw Billings, the newly appointed director of the New York Public Library, became responsible for the construction of the Research Library on Fifth Avenue. His plans included a Beaux-Arts marble building that would feature an enormous reading room with high ceilings, plenty of natural lighting and chandeliers, comfortable chairs and massive wooden work tables. The Research Library finally opened on May 23, 1911.
There are thousands of reference books available, and a system was designed to allow employees to retrieve the books quite rapidly. Nowadays, computers and laptop plugs have been added to the reading room, and although I’ll always be partial to the Boston Public Library’s reading room, this one was also quite impressive. I also enjoyed walking along the corridors where you can see special rooms that are dedicated to famous authors and scholars. It almost made me consider applying for a Ph.D.!
The Humanities and Science Library on Fifth Avenue opens every day at 11:00 am. There is a gift shop, and special exhibitions are on all year long. Tours are offered everyday at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm (only 2:00 pm on Sundays), but you can also visit the building on your own.
The library is situated in Manhattan’s on ritzy Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Street. Several million people travel through the doors of the New York Public Library each year and an amazing 1.8 million individuals are NY library card holders.
It took 500 workers 2 years to dismantle the reservoir that was situated at the site where the library was to be built. The cornerstone was laid in 1902.The library finally opening in 1911.
The library’s famous lion statues that sit outside the main entrance – fashioned from pink Tennessee marble - welcomed nearly 50,000 visitors on the library’s first official day of business.
The library’s collections number in the tens of millions and some of the holdings are simply magnificent – such as the Gutenberg Bible and the manuscript copy of Jefferson’s document which would become known as The Declaration of Independence.
Casablanca Hotel New York City
1 Review and 2419 Opinions This is a Hotel /Bed and Breakfast. It is a oasis in the middle of Times Square. It is quiet inside...
Library Hotel New York City
3 Reviews and 1722 Opinions The Library is a good little hotel but the frustration is it could be a great hotel. Great concept...
The French Quarters Guest Apartments New York City
1 Review and 395 Opinions The location is great, some 5 minutes fom Time Square and is situated in the street called...
see all New York City member meetings