The New York Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman Building


The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, a New York City landmark in the Beaux-Arts style, houses an expansive research collection in the humanities and social sciences, as well as a circulating children’s collection.  The building was constructed on the site of the old Croton Reservoir the late 1800’s and headed by its first director Dr. John Shaw Billings. What started as a brief sketch on a scrap of paper by Billings became the early blueprint for this magnificent landmark.

photo credit Sean Scanlin
photo credit Don Pollard

Since the dedication of the library on May 23, 1911, the iconic marble lions, Patience and Fortitude, have stood guard on the steps of the building, greeting visitors from all over the world.   The branch collection consist of some 15 million items including priceless medieval manuscripts, ancient Japanese scrolls, contemporary novels and poetry, as well as baseball cards, dime novels, and comic books.

Below is a photo of The New York Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman Building taken from past OHNY Weekend’s Focus on Architecture Photo Competition submission:

photo credit Den Alder

During OHNY’s Weekend Celebration the library will host in-depth tours of the building, including the South Court Educational Center, the Rose Main Reading Room, the Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, and the newly renovated Edna Barnes Salomon Room.

In celebration of our 10th anniversary, openhousenewyork would like to give thanks to the sites and organizations that have supported and contributed to making our Annual openhousenewyork Weekend what it is today. This series of blog posts covers sites which originally opened their doors at the inaugural Weekend in 2003 and have continually reaffirmed their support and participation year after year.

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