Image by Marina Bekker

New York City Public Library – Books & architecture

Ever walk around all of these impressive buildings and wish so much you could go inside? There is a chance for you! The New York public library has hundreds of branches, but the branch I love is the Stephen A. Schwarzman building. It is quite impressive when you come across it, you notice right away that it’s historical and significant. Not like a library at all ­čśë

It took 16 years to build this beauty, and at the time it was built, 1911, it was the largest marble structure to be built in the US. Of course at that time the books were delivered by horse drawn carriages, and visitors were kept warm by 20 tons of coal a day! It’s gotten a reputation for housing and exhibiting not only conservative but also controversial works – which is something I can stand behind and find appreciation in when looking at this power house. Although it is primarily a branch focusing on humanities and social sciences, it houses tons of collections in which you can find alluring distractions and daring information.

Don’t worry though, you’re not the first to discover brilliance within these walls. Edward Land developed the process for the Polaroid Land Camera right here. Also taken place right on this very spot was Chester Carlson’s invention of┬áthe Xerox photocopier; Marchette Chute’s entire research for Shakespeare in London (never actually visiting┬áLondon) and DeWitt Wallace found all of his study information which he would contribute to his magazine -Reader’s Digest.

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Details about this spot



Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, Manhattan, New York

Telephone number


Opening Times

Mon & Thu - Sat 10:00 - 18:00, Tue - Wed 10:00 - 20:00, Sun 13:00 - 17:00 with limited rooms




Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)