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
- Monday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Tuesday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
- Wednesday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
- Thursday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Friday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Sunday: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
476 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 340-0863
Tonya D. Apr-11-2019
This library is beautiful. I stopped in while on vacation just for fun--to make a physical visit the NYPL library system that I use so much from afar. Did... Read More
Lindsey J. Apr-06-2019
If I could give this library 10+ stars, I would. Oh my gosh, what a STUNNING and beautiful building in the middle of New York City! Apparently, when it was... Read More
Jeni S. Mar-29-2019
Part museum, part archive, part information, part education, part recreation, part socialization, part relaxation... and total inspiration. This immense... 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.
Map & Instant Route Finder
Click&Go Map and Route Finder with public transit, walking, driving or cycling directions. Get up-to-the-minute transit times for your route.