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)

winnie the pool

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)

rose reading room

Leave it to New York to be able to house such enormous and incredible structures.  Happy Reading!

About cara protzko

A wanderlust at heart, I believe there is no better city to explore than NYC. With so much culture to experience, both old and new, my mission is to share my under the radar findings to enhance the experiences of the locals and the full-time NYC wanderers. I want my experiences and this blog be your go-to place for insider tips as you travel and explore this great city.
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1 Response to nypl

  1. Jude says:

    It is quite a masterpiece isn’t it? Wish I went with you to take that tour , I don’t remember seeing the Winnie the pooh room!

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