The New York Public Library, specifically the historic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, was on my bucket list of cultural landmarks in NYC that I wanted to explore. I had the delusive idea that it would be this massive structure filled with many rooms organized by subject and stockpiled with books. Wow was I wrong.
Although it is still has the elements and purpose of a conventional library, acting as a facility for research and stimulating brilliant ideas, it is more like a museum, housing relics historic photographs, manuscripts, maps, sheet music and videos – even the real stuffed animals that inspired the stories of Winnie The Pooh (one of my favorite childhood characters)
This “museum” has a lot of history behind as it was built upon what was once the Croton Reservoir which supplied the city with clean water. I continue to refer this particular building of the library system as a museum because once inside you tend to forget that you are actually in a library. McGraw Rotunda and Hall Astor are gorgeous and grandiose with its arches and white marble decorate with elaborate murals – are really are magnificent places to hold an special event.
All in all, this Schwarzman Building IS a library, host to many reading rooms and “study” halls. I only wish I had known about them while I was business school. This is a wonderful place to spend the day reading and writing. Although I graduated and no longer have a need to study, I plan to check out the football field sized Rose Main Reading Room when re-opens in 2016. (Below is a picture of it after the repairs and maintenance work)
Leave it to New York to be able to house such enormous and incredible structures. Happy Reading!