11 Facts About NYPL for #AprilFactsDay
The New York Public Library's Stephen A. Schwarzman building opened on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in 1911. One of NYC's iconic landmarks, it welcomes millions of visitors a year to discover its inspiring public spaces, unparalleled research collections, and vibrant programs and exhibitions. But that's not the whole story about the building behind the Library Lions. Did you know...? (All images below are from The New York Public Library's Digital Collections.)
1. At the time it opened in 1911, the Library was the largest marble building ever built in the United States.
3. Mayor Fiorello La Guardia nicknamed the Library Lions Patience and Fortitude in the 1930s because he felt New Yorkers needed to possess these qualities in order to survive the Depression.
5. After Pearl Harbor was attacked, the most valuable volumes and manuscripts at the Library were moved to bank vaults around New York City.
7. Norbert Pearlroth, the Ripley's Believe It or Not! researcher from 1923 to 1975, found all the information for the newspaper feature using the huge collection in the Library's Main Reading Room.
8. In the collections: Charles Dickens's favorite letter-opener. The shaft is ivory, but the handle is the embalmed paw of his beloved cat, Bob, toenails and all.
9. Along with the iconic Lions, the building's ornamentation also includes dolphins, turtles, birds, bees, catfish, dogs, roosters, eagles, rams, swans, snakes, and oxen.
10. Ghostbusters isn't the only movie to film at NYPL! Spiderman, Ted 2, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and more filmed at NYPL.
11. The Library used 530,000 cubic feet of marble, including exterior marble that is 12 inches thick. The marble floors of the Library were deemed so hard that in 1911 all employees were supplied with rubber soled shoes.
Learn even more facts about The New York Public Library: