Lonely Planet Writer

New York Public Library’s historic reading room will reopen to the public after two years

After it was closed for restoration for years, the New York Public Library’s historic Rose Main Reading Room is scheduled to reopen on 5 October.

People studying in the Main Reading room in the New York Public Library, Manhattan, New York City, New York.
People studying in the Main Reading room in the New York Public Library, Manhattan, New York City. Image by Michael Marquand/Getty Images

The reading area, along with the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room on the third floor of the library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, have been closed to the public since May 2014. The rooms were closed for repairs and restoration. Now, the areas, which are designated for research and quiet study, will reopen during library hours. Daily tours of the building also run at 11 am and 2 pm, and will visit both of the rooms.

 

The restoration work began after one of the room’s iconic plaster rosettes fell from the 52-foot-high ceiling, according to the New York Public Library. The repairs fixed slight cracking in the roof and secured the roses in place with steel cable. The New York Public Library branch, which opened in 1911, is home to many precious manuscripts, including an original copy of the Declaration of Independence. In addition to free guided tours, there are also free audio guides available for anyone who wants to explore the incredible building on their own.