The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of The New York Public Library, or NYPL, at 5th and 42nd Streets is one of my favorite places on earth.
The NYPL is regarded as the apex of Beaux-Arts design, and was the largest marble structure (at the time it was built) in the United States. The cornerstone was laid in May 1902. Perhaps the most famous portion of the building is the Rose Main Reading Room. It is in this room, or just outside, that most of the images in this post are taken.
The first time I visited the main branch of the New York Public Library I felt like I had entered a church. Churches are places of worship and as such I’d label the Schwarzman Building of the NYPL as being one that worships learning, knowledge and the power of the written word. Perhaps, among many other things.
There is a certain code in the NYPL main building, of reverence and awe. It’s one of the few truly quiet and not chaotic places in the city – like the eye of a storm. Outside NYC swirls around in all its hurried and crazed glory. I may love the hurried and the crazed as well, but when I need a place of calm, it’s to the Schwarzman Building that I run when I am in NYC.