The New York Public Library (Stephen A. Schwarzman Building) lies alongside the beautiful Bryant Park, which in spring is full of pretty blossom trees, creating the perfect setting for a peaceful library. This library is a huge and stunning marble building with pillars and a decorative front.
At the bottom of the steps which lead up to the entrance on 5th Avenue are two proud, marble lions; Patience and Fortitude who have become a familiar icon when anyone thinks of the library.
Inside the magnificent building, the decor is even more beautiful. This can be explored through a free guided tour or by wandering the floors with a map at your own pace (or even with a free audio guide). White marble arches, candle chandeliers, intricate details in the stone and doorways and beautiful artwork adorning the walls makes it the most beautiful library I have seen to this day.
The children’s room on the ground floor is a lovely area, filled with all your favourite childhood classics to be enjoyed generation after generation. One wall is decorated with a cartoon or scrapbook style painting of New York, including the library itself, along with many iconic buildings from across the city. Here you will also find many much-loved literary characters; Clifford the Big Red Dog, The Cat in the Hat and Winne the Pooh.
The library is also a great centre for research by local residents and therefore has many research rooms and reading rooms specifically for that purpose- including a genealogy room for family research. The Rose Main Reading Room (which was unfortunately temporarily closed when we visited) is a space which covers nearly the full length of a football field and is immensely popular with researchers.
The shop was the last stop on our exploration of the library, where you can, of course, buy books, souvenirs of the library (such as magnets or canvas bags) and also literary stationary such as The Great Gatsby Notepad in the image below…
Although there aren’t as many books as you would expect to see, for research or merely a look at the magnificent sights within, this library is a must-see on a bookworm’s ‘library bucket list’.