Celebrate the legacy of The New York Public Library’s iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street with our new exhibition, Preserving a Masterpiece: From Soaring Ceilings to Subterranean Storage. Known as the People’s Palace, this library is a monumental oasis for New Yorkers who need a quiet place to read, a well of information for scholars, and a must-see destination for visitors from all around the world.

Featuring over 75 photos—many never before seen—the exhibition is an ode to what the timeless 42nd Street building means to its visitors, and to the essential ongoing work required to preserve, protect, and make accessible the legacies that reside there. It documents the building’s history and ongoing preservation efforts, such as the current restoration of the Rose Main Reading Room and the expansion of underground collections facilities beneath Bryant Park. The exhibition also includes historic photos from the construction of the building and its early years, as well as two decorative plaster rosettes from the Rose Main Reading Room ceiling. Preserving a Masterpiece allows visitors to peer into the past to discover the building’s beginnings, while exploring some of the many chapters it has witnessed through time.  


More Exhibitions

  • The Awe of the Arctic: A Visual History

    March 15–July 13, 2024
    Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

    Discover how the Arctic has been a source of intrigue and fascination for centuries through historic and contemporary images.