New York Public Library

sights / Architecture

New York Public Library information

New York City , USA
Fifth Ave
at 42nd St
+1 917 275 6975
Getting there
Subway: B/D/F/M to 42nd St-Bryant Park; 7 to 5th Ave
More information
Opening hours
10am-6pm Mon & Thu-Sat, to 8pm Tue & Wed, 1-5pm Sun, guided tours 11am & 2pm Mon-Sat, 2pm Sun
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Loyally guarded by 'Patience' and 'Fortitude' (the marble lions overlooking Fifth Ave), this beaux-arts show-off is one of NYC's best free attractions. When dedicated in 1911, New York’s flagship library ranked as the largest marble structure ever built in the US, and to this day, its Rose Main Reading Room steals the breath away with its lavish, coffered ceiling. While the room may be closed for restoration until early 2017, it's only one of several glories, among them the DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room.

This extraordinary building is home to precious manuscripts by just about every author of note in the English language, including an original copy of the Declaration of Independence and a Gutenberg Bible. The Map Division is equally astounding, with a collection that holds some 431,000 maps, 16,000 atlases and books on cartography, dating from the 16th century to the present. To properly explore this mini-universe of books, art and architectural flourishes, join a free guided tour (departing from Astor Hall) or grab a free audio guide from the information desk (also in Astor Hall).