In new York you will have the opportunity to see live and in direct many of those places that are part of the social imaginary thanks to films, documentaries, books, news, etc. One of them is the spectacular public Library of new York, known among other things for its appearance in the film Ghostbusters (Ghostbusters, 1984), which started precisely with the image of the façade of the library and its famous lions.
Here we propose a walk through the past and present of the library, including practical data for those who wish to visit the NY Public Library.
Brief history of the New York Public Library
Toward the middle of century XIX existed in New York two large libraries supported by funds from the foundations Astor and Lenox. However, toward the end of the century both institutions passed by economic difficulties and its existence was threatened. Fortunately, in 1895 the Attorney John Bigelow succeeded in making real the dream of Samuel J. Tilden, another billionaire philanthropist who to die had donated his entire fortune with the intention to merge its foundation with the previous two and thus create the New York Public Library (NYPL). It had to wait until 23 May 1911 for the main building opened by end their doors.
In our days, the New York Public Library is an institution that embraces a network of 92 cultural spaces different in the city and has a fund of 51 million documents (books, films, etc.) to which the New Yorkers can access free of charge.
What the majority of tourists seek when visiting the New York Public Library is in reality its main building: The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, located in the 5th Avenue with the 42 (practical data at the end). This is the famous building of the movies, the lions and the great neoclassical facade. As it could not be otherwise, access to the interior is free and you can visit for free, in guided group (upon reservation) or with audioguide.
In regard to the lions, is almost mandatory to be included in the photo of rigor before entering. These two enormous marble statues were baptized as patience and fortitude in the decade of the 30s by the mayor Fiorello La Guardia, who tried to promote these values among the people a new yorker in full Great Depression.
Once inside, we received the first visual impact on the Astor Hall, a huge lounge that it would seem more of a Opera Union than that of a library. From there, and respecting the rules of silence or to be marked at the entrance of each zone, we are free to wander through the various chambers of reading, study or internet connection open to the general public, as the Salomon Room (3th floor) or the Berger Forum (2th floor).
It is a space so impressive…just a football field dedicated to the books! And if you are fans of cinema, is a place that remind you to many films, from “Tomorrow”, to “Sex and the City”, through “The Secret of Thomas Crown” or the mythical “Ghostbusters”. In short, the Public Library, with this lovely room and the famous lions as major claims, seem to us to be an essential visit in New York.