On our most recent trip to New York we were able to stay at the Andaz Hotel in Midtown which is literally steps from the Main Branch of the New York Public Library. Its actual name is the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building and is the flagship building in the New York Public Library system, as well as a prominent historic landmark in Midtown Manhattan. The branch, which was officially dedicated on May 23, 1911, is one of four research libraries in the library system. It currently contains an area of 646,680 square feet and 4 stories open to the public. It is located on Fifth Avenue at its intersection with 42nd Street.
We had a great time running around Manhattan but I never really felt like I was able to relax and really enjoy the moment. Sadly it was another see as much as you can do, while you can trip. However, my husband was off doing some errands for a couple of hours so I walked across the street, grabbed a dog from a vendor, and just set out front watching people come and go and soaking up Manhattan. It was amazing. I think this was when I really fell in love with New York. It was so great watching people pose and take pictures. I even took a few pictures of the two massive Tennessee marble lions, dubbed Patience and Fortitude. They flank the main portal and have become the institution’s mascots.
Upon walking in I was amazed at the building. As I’ve said before on many posts, I love marble, and this building had a lot of it! It is gorgeous. I felt like it was more of a museum than a library. Apparently I wasn’t alone in this thought, as I heard several others say the same thing as I was walking around. I had missed the last tour of the day, so I just walked around and took it all in.
After looking around for a while, I went over and asked the information desk what I should not miss while walking around. She gave me a guide and directed me to the small theater to watch a film called Inside The New York Public Library which explores NYPL’s history and collections. I caught about 15 minutes of it, but didn’t want to wait for it to start again. Off I went to explore on my own.
They film had shared a lot of info about the the Rose Room so I decided to check it out. It is a majestic 78 by 297 feet room with 52-foot high ceilings. The room is lined with thousands of reference works on open shelves along the floor level and along the balcony, lit by massive windows and grand chandeliers, and furnished with sturdy wood tables, comfortable chairs, and brass lamps. It is also equipped with computers providing access to library collections and the Internet as well as docking facilities for laptops. There were quite a few people researching and writing, which reminded me that it actually was a library, lol. I was tempted to walk back across the street and get my laptop to look like part of the “crowd”, but the need to explore more of this unique building won out.
I poked my head in so many rooms that I got so turned around and couldn't have been more pleased. I had a great time exploring but eventually needed to head back to the hotel and meet up with the hubby for our evening plans. However I did walk through the book store and stopped in the cafÉ before heading back. It is a great
museum library and I look forward to visiting again one day to do some research on some of my ancestors that were in the New Jersey area. Make it there someday if you can. It is worth spending an hour or two. Next time I will try and take a tour to learn even more. Hope you enjoyed learning about the New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman branch.