The next stop on my time in New York City last September is the New York Public Library, which is located on 5th Ave at E 41st Street and is the flagship building in the New York Public Library system with an estimated 2.5 million volumes.
The Main Branch was built after the consolidation of the Astor and Lenox Libraries into the New York Public Library in 1895 and it opened in 1911. One of the most known features of the library are the two stone lions flanking the main entrance stairs on 5th Ave (see yesterday’s POTD). In fact, They are the trademark of the New York Public Library and according to legend, the lions flank the steps so patrons could read “between the lions”. They are named “Leo Astor” and “Leo Lenox” in honor of the library’s founders.
Inside the Main Reading Room is THE room you must see. It measures 78 by 297 feet with 52-foot-high ceiling and it beautiful. In order to get to the reading room you must first enter the Astor Hall, which is a wonderful main lobby with dual spiral staircases, barrel ceiling, and arches on the side. After that you arrive at the McGraw Rotunda with a painted ceiling and murals around the room depicting the development of the written word.
This library is one of the most stunning libraries I have visited outside of Coimbra University in Portugal and it is no wonder film makers keep wanting to shoot on location here including the opening scene from Ghostbusters (thus the title 🙂 ) and a large part of The Day After Tomorrow.