New York Public Library

A National Historic Landmark building, the New York Public Library is one of the best examples of Beaux-Arts architecture in the United States

Entrance to the New York Public Library
Entrance to the New York Public Library cc licensed photo by thievingjoker

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.

Nearby attractions include Grand Central Terminal, Chrysler Building, Madison Square Garden, Macy's Herald Square and the Empire State Building.

Facts For Your Visit

Official Website: New York Public Library

Fee: No

Open Now

Regular Hours:

  • Monday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Thursday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Category: Libraries

Address: 476 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10018

Phone: (212) 340-0863

Reviews

Yelp Rating:
4.5 out of 5 4.5 Star Rating
Based on 862 Reviews.

See all reviews on Yelp

5 Star Rating Simply breathtaking. If for no other reason than to walk around, visit this marvelous building and take in all the splendor it has to offer. This is truly... Read More

Jeffrey C. Jun-14-2019

5 Star Rating As a bibliophile, I am partial to all libraries. I feel incredibly fortunate to live in a city where the public library system is quite wonderful, and I... Read More

Yuna P. May-15-2019

4 Star Rating Only got through half of the books when I visited the other day, so I wouldn't recommend this place for slow readers. Otherwise, it's a great source of... Read More

Eva Z. Apr-23-2019

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Directions

Subway Line Nearest Station Walking Time
B, D, F or V42nd Street / Bryant Park5 minutes
75th Avenue4 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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Photo Gallery

Video


Enyoy this great video tour of the impressive New York Public Library

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