Iconic Reading Room at NYPL Closed for Repairs

By Yi Yang, Epoch Times
June 18, 2014 8:16 pm Last Updated: June 18, 2014 8:19 pm

The New York Public Library at the iconic Stephen Schwarzman Building attracts about 2.3 million visitors each year. The highlight of the library is its majestic Rose Main Reading Room located on the third floor. However, those who wish to come in here to read a book or just catch a glimpse of this famed room this summer are out of luck.

The room was shut down on May 29 when a piece of plaster fell from ceiling of the Main Reading Room in the middle of the night. The reading room and the adjacent Bill Blass Public Catalog Room were closed down for a two-week inspection. NYPL officials then decided that the rooms were due for closer inspection and repair.

This process is expected to take approximately six months. The cost of the repairs is still undetermined. Meanwhile, all other parts of the library will be open and all library services will remain in operation. All services previously located in the Rose Main Reading Room, such as book requests, will take place on the second floor’s central corridor.

In addition, the library will open up a number of beautiful and historic rooms previously closed to the public. These areas will be outfitted with seats and Wi-Fi. Additional tables and seats will be added to rooms already open to the public. The Library’s Gutenberg Bible, formerly displayed in the main reading room, will now be displayed on the third floor in the McGraw Rotunda.

“Public safety is our top priority,” said NYPL President Tony Marx in a press release. “We are very proud of the library’s strong tradition of caring for this 103-year-old iconic building. Thankfully, the building has ample space to accommodate the scholars and writers who work here daily.”