The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library

The main building of The New York Public Library is one of the most magnificent architectural sights in Manhattan. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century for a new library. This gorgeous library is located on Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd streets.

The founding of the library
The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library was founded in 1895 combining archives of the Astor, Lenox and Tilden Libraries. The last one was built according to Samuel J. Tilden’s will to found a free public library in New York. The Lenox library kept a private collection of a rich philanthrope James Lenox. The Astor library was a sort of resource and reference library founded by John Jacob Astor. This German merchant became the first millionaire in the USA.

The building
The New York Public Library

The first director of the library, John Shaw Billings, suggested constructing a huge building with a huge reading hall and enormous space for keeping books efficiently. In 1897 the Carrere & Hastings company won the competition and started developing the building. The construction officially started in 1902 and ended 9 years later in 1911.

The New York Public Library

Architects from Carrere & Hastings built a wonderful construction in beaux-arts architecture style. Despite the high price of the construction ($9 million), it was approved and became renowned. The building made of Dorset marble was enlisted in national heritage list in 1967. Its main façade is emphasized thanks to a gorgeous entrance with wide stairs and three arches. The arches are between double Corinthian pillars decorated with six big statues. The statues were created by Paul Philippe Cret. The niches on the façade along Fifth Avenue are decorated with fountain statues designed by Frederick William MacMonnies.

Interior
The New York Public Library

The interior is as impressive as the exterior. The natural light comes through huge arched windows. And it is also worth mentioning a room decorated with frescos by Richard Haass where New York sights are depicted.
100%  |  18  |  May 6, 2017
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