There are a great many good reasons to visit your neighbourhood’s public library. And when this happens to be the Stephen Schwarzman Building, the main branch of the fourth largest library in the world, being a ”curious tourist” is one of them.
The New York Public Library’s historic Rose Main Reading Room and Bill Blass Public Catalog Room recently completed a major ceiling restoration that went on for two years, since May 2014, when a rosette fell overnight and prompted a full inspection of the ceilings. And while it was agreed that they were in an – otherwise – excellent condition, the Library decided to take advantage of the already set up scaffolding to do some restoration work. The rooms reopened on October 5th, 2016 and I couldn’t wait to see them for myself.
The sheer size of the rooms, the epic beauty of these 105-year-old ceilings, the rows upon rows of accumulated knowledge can hardly be described in words. Capturing its essence on camera is an impossible task. It requires physical presence; slow steps, long pauses, quiet respectful gestures; as all temples do.
November 27th, 2016