Many people go to New York to experience the culture or visit the sky scrapper’s that take over the sky. Most go to experience the atmosphere and bright lights of Times Square or the peace and tranquillity of Central park. Well…not me. My most important quest whilst in the big apple was to visit the world’s 3rd largest library. That and of course meet the naked cowboy. Don’t get me wrong I couldn’t wait to climb the Empire State or wander up 5th Avenue but the New York Public Library was a must.
The back of the library at night!
The New York Public Library (NYPL) was established in 1895 and is housed on 5th Avenue on 42nd street. After the main branch was opened in1911 to the public it soon became the world’s most famous library and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965. It has neighbouring libraries in Staten Island, Manhattan and the Bronx.
The entrance to this beautiful building formally known as theStephen A. Schwarzman Building is made with marble arch’s and pillars. At the bottom of the famous steps sits Patience and Fortitude, the two stone lions that guard the library. They were named this in 1930 due to the economic depression and the names stuck.
Entrance to the Library
Upon entering this building I was completely awestruck. Not only by its sheer size but by its grandeur. The steps on either side on the interior of the building are lit with gothic chandeliers and are famous for being in the ‘Sex and the City’ movie. ‘Spiderman’, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ have also been filmed here.
With over 53 million items in the NYPL ranging from manuscripts to Literature and research divisions to periodicals they cover every collection. As we walked through this beautiful building I took in every nook and cranny. From the Rose main reading room which is the length of two blocks (that’s a football pitch to us), to the Map division which is one of the world’s leading premier map collection.
One of the Writer’s Rooms
The rare book division was also a sight for the eyes which is lit by candlelight and houses books from as far back as 1450 and the Writers Room which makes you feel like your sharing an office with Shakespeare himself.
The NYPL is high up on my places to visit and it is well and truly the book lovers dream.