The Main Branch of the New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan (Stephen A. Schwarzman Building), opened in 1911 and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011. The landmarked building has been called the “People’s Palace” since at least 1972.
Wikipedia: New York Public Library Main Branch
The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York Public Library, more widely known as the Main Branch or simply as “the New York Public Library,” is the flagship building in the New York Public Library system and a prominent historic landmark in Midtown Manhattan. The branch, opened in 1911, is one of four research libraries in the library system. It is located on Fifth Avenue at its intersection with 42nd Street.
The Library’s famous Rose Main Reading Room (Room 315) is a majestic 78 feet (23.8 m) wide and 297 feet (90.5 m) long, with 52-foot (15.8 m) high ceilings. The room is lined with thousands of reference works on open shelves along the floor level and along the balcony, lit by massive windows and grand chandeliers, and furnished with sturdy wood tables, comfortable chairs, and brass lamps. It is also equipped with computers providing access to library collections and the Internet as well as docking facilities for laptops. Readers study books brought to them from the library’s closed stacks. There are special rooms for notable authors and scholars, many of whom have done important research and writing at the Library. But the Library has always been about more than scholars; during the Great Depression, many ordinary people, out of work, used the Library to improve their lot in life, as they still do.
The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965.
11 December 1972, New York (NY) Times, “115 Explore Library Behind the Lions” by Laurie Johnson, pg. 42:
“This is a People’s Palace of Culture, a People’s University and the building expresses the glory of what it contains.”
(Henry Hope Reed, architectural historian leading a library tour—ed.)
Google News Archive
23 May 1986, Toledo (OH) Blade, “Public Libraries: Looking Back, Ahead,” pg. 11, col. 1:
Today, six weeks before the centennial celebrations in honor of the refurbished statue (Statue of Liberty—ed.), the Fifth Avenue main building of the New York Public Library is 75 years old.
The “people’s palace,” as it is sometime called, is undergoing a $77 million renovation that is substantially complete.
New York (NY) Times
By JAMES BARRON with Marcelle S. Fischler and Julie Flaherty
Published: June 11, 1999
In a ceremony at the New York Public Library, the president of the Carnegie Corporation, VARTAN GREGORIAN, called it a vote of confidence in the future of the book.
‘’No search engine can replace the library or the librarian,’’ he said. ‘’The library, as Norman Mailer put it, is ‘the people’s palace.’ It contains the DNA of our culture.’’
New York Public Library
The People’s Palace
Download:Video (130.9MB MP4, 21 min 30 sec)
Also available on:iTunes (Video)
The People’s Palace was originally created in 1991; this section of the film was updated in 2001 on the occasion of the reopening of the Library for the Performing Arts following a three-year, $38 million renovation.
The People’s Palace, a production of Kunhardt Productions and Thirteen/WNET New York, paints a sweeping portrait of the Library, focusing on its history, its collections and research centers, and the individuals—past and present—charged with upholding its mission of collecting, preserving, and making accessible to a wide public the materials of human culture.
The picture that emerges is one of a vibrant, dynamic institution with a rich history that constantly looks toward the future and embraces new technologies that keep it at the forefront of information resources. The film aired on Thirteen/WNET New York on February 22, 2007.
OCLC WorldCat record
The people’s palace : a portrait of the New York Public Library
Author: Graham Judd; Tim Hopper; Cindy Kaplan Rooney; Amilca Palmer; Bob Richman; All authors
Publisher: [Alexandria, VA ] : Distributed by PBS Home Video, ©2007.
Edition/Format: DVD video : English : Widescreen versionView all editions and formats
Summary: Documentary focusing on the history, collections and users of the New York Public Library.
New York Public Library
The People’s Palace is Turning 100!
by Rebecca Hohmann, Digital and Print Publications
May 17, 2011
Discover the majestic 100-year-old Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street and its world-renowned collections. Since it opened on May 23, 1911, this marble masterpiece has been a source of inspiration — for novels, films, inventions, new careers, or simply as a welcoming place for New Yorkers to pull up a chair and open a great book.
It is also the inspiration for Celebrating 100 Years, a special exhibition showcasing the extraordinary range of the Library’s collections, as well as a Weekend Festival of live music and theater, lectures, tours, and much more. Join the Centennial celebration!
New York City • Buildings/Housing/Parks • (0) Comments • Friday, May 27, 2011 • Permalink