The New York Public Library’s Riverdale branch announced Friday the names of their two new lion statues –”River” and “Dale.” Following a month-long contest, the Library received over 300 submissions for the new stone additions from residents of New York City, as well as Library supporters from Toronto, Canada; Oxford, England; Sydney, Australia and elsewhere.
Contestants submitted entries at the Riverdale Library and to NYPL via email until April 5th when the contest closed. The staff at Riverdale then selected 15 finalists, which included the popular submissions ”Patronus and Cupitor” and “Leo and Rex.” The selected names were then sent to NYPL President Tony Marx, who chose the winning names
“The enthusiastic response to this contest highlights the deep love and passion people around the globe have for NYPL and for libraries in general," said NYPL President Tony Marx. "It was difficult to choose from such a wide-range of creative names, but after looking over the finalists with much patience and fortitude, I couldn't help but name the lions after their new home, a vibrant community with dedicated patrons. I would also like to thank Loews Regency Hotel for sending 'River' and 'Dale' to the Riverdale Library, where they will be loved and cared for."
The lions were a gift from Loews Regency Hotel – currently undergoing a renovation - where they had welcomed visitors since 1998; a serene compliment to the renowned Patience and Fortitude, the lions who stand guard outside the Library’s iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. The winning names were announced at Riverdale Library, located at 5540 Mosholu Avenue, today at 3:30pm, following a reception of cake and entertainment by Presley and Melody – the popular children’s music group.