Free to tour and contrary to the movie The Day After Tomorrow, the New York Public Library is very much still intact and is one of the premier research facilities in the country.
Opened in 1911 on the site of the Croton Reservoir, the landmark building designed by Carrère and Hastings was the largest marble structure in the United States at the time. Created by combing the collections of the failing Astor and Lenox Libraries and the over $2.4 million dollar Tilden Trust, the public reading room and library had over one million volumes when it opened. Today it services almost 2 million library card holders.
A National Historic Landmark building, the New York Public Library is one of the best examples of Beaux-Arts architecture in the United States. Entering through Astor Hall, welcomed by vaulted marble ceilings three feet thick and a grand double staircase, you can join a free docent-led tour of the building or exhibitions. The famous Rose Main Reading Room is a majestic space filled with natural light from massive arch windows and lined with thousands of reference works under beautiful panel ceilings and chandeliers. In the Bill Blass room, one of the few remaining copies of the Gutenberg Bible is on display.
Most of the books in the library are stored on an incredible 75 miles of steel shelving located below the massive reading room. These metal shelving units double as supports for the floor of the reading room above.
Check out the 'Photos and Video' tab above to view a great video highlighting some of the impressive features of this amazing building which is well worth taking time to visit.
Facts For Your Visit
Official Website: New York Public LibraryFee: No
Hours may be subject to change. Please verify on the official website.
- Monday: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
- Tuesday: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
- Wednesday: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
- Thursday: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
- Friday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
- Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Sunday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
455 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 340-0863
Tara C. Dec-06-2022
Outstanding. A New York City staple. Go to study, go for the history, go for the architecture... it's absolutely stunning! This is the main branch of the... Read More
Gustavo A. L. Nov-29-2022
This place is not just a library, it is a museum. I make it a point to visit everytime I am in New York. There is always an exhibit going on. It is also... Read More
Vincent L. Nov-29-2022
The main branch is one of dozens in the New York Public Library system, and it's a treasure to behold, even if it isn't a circulating branch. Even before... Read More
Accommodations near New York Public Library:
|Subway Line||Nearest Station||Walking Time|
|B, D, F or V||42nd Street / Bryant Park||5 minutes|
|7||5th Avenue||4 minutes|
How to get to New York Public Library by Subway
Take the B, D, F or V train to 42nd Street / Bryant Park, head southwest on 6th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas), turn left on 40th Street or take the 7 train to 5th Avenue, head southeast, turn right on 5th Avenue, turn right on 40th Street.
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