New York Public Library: The Architecture and Decoration of the Stephen A Schwarzman Building

The New York Public Library, one of the nation’s architectural wonders, is possibly our finest classical building. Designed by John Merven Carrere and Thomas Hastings, and inspired by the great classical buildings in Paris and Rome, it was completed in 1911. The library boasts a magnificent exterior, but that is only the beginning. In the interior, one splendid hall follows another, an awesome gallery leads to richly decorated rooms, and stairways are vaulted in marble. From the terrace to the breathtaking Main Reading Room is a triumphal way. All the devices of the classical tradition, the main artistic current of Western civilization, are brought into play. Maidens, cherubs, and satyr masks look down from ceilings. Lions’ heads, paws, rams’ heads, and griffins are on every side. In this beautiful volume, featuring new color photography by Anne Day, every facet of the building is described, including its inception and construction. With new color photography showing off a thorough inside-and-out refurbishment, this volume celebrates a beloved landmark.

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