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No, this is not Paris or Italy. It’s the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue in NYC, with its iconic set of lions flanking the entrance. The photo was taken from a stairwell looking down into the main lobby (click here for more photos). This majestic Beaux-Arts building replaced the Croton Reservoir (it took 2 years to dismantle) and became the largest marble project in the USA at its time – the entire project took 16 years from idea to completion (1895-1911). Its creation was the result of the consolidation of the two primary private libraries at the time: the Astor and Lenox (read a short history here at the NYPL’s website).

In the 1980s, the library added 125,000 square feet of underground storage, which required the excavation of adjoining Bryant Park. I have found that this library is underappreciated by New Yorkers and tourists alike – I guess a library is not on the to-do list of the typical visitor. However, I highly recommend visiting it – it’s free, is centrally located, and one can get a good feel for it in a short visit…

7 Responses to NYPL

  1. Great subject and a great photo! Thanks!

  2. I spent a long time in and around this building. Far more rewarding that waiting 3 hours in a queue to go to the top of the Empire State Building down the road.

    I love Bryant Park behind too – so much people-watching to be done there, and the green chairs to sit on are reminiscent of one of my favourite urban green spaces – the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris.

    Thanks for bringing this.

  3. All the photos are outstanding, and I loved the vintage photo, top hats and all!

  4. Yes, Bryant Park is reminiscent of the Lux Gardens of Paris. The library is really outstanding and virtually unvisited by the tourist.

  5. La librairie est vraiment superbe, elle vaut le detour et en plus elle donne dans (pour moi) le plus beau parc de NYC : The Bryant Park, surnommé ‘le petit luxembourg’ en reference au ‘jardin du luxembourg’ a paris. Les memes chaises, les memes tables. Le Bryant Park etant le seul parc a la francaise de NYC. J’adore y aller me reposer apres une journee de marche new yorkaise, en buvant un capuccino.
    Merci pour les photos et les liens

  6. twistedzero says:

    great photo.. this is THE library i’ll go to, hehe.

  7. Anytime you would like to get together in NYC, let me know – I’m available and would love to get together.

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