After a two-year restoration project, The Rose Reading Room at the New York Public Library’s main branch has reopened to the public.

Renovations on the library began in 2014 following a rosette falling from the ceiling. Tishman Construction Corporation managed the $12 million dollar project, and EverGreene Architectural Arts was hired to recreate the James Finn mural.

As part of the renovations, the NYPL installed a new conveyor system to transfer materials from the underground stacks.

With the renovations, the Library estimates it will fulfill “90 percent of research requests with materials located on-site.”

Designed by Carrere & Hastings, construction began on the library in 1899, and opened to the public in 1911. The library is the standard of Beaux-arts style architecture, and serves as a reminder of the opulent wealth of the period.

The smaller and less known Carrère & Hastings won competition for design of the library against more prestigious firms, including Peabody and Sterns, McKim, Mead & White (Boston Library architects), and George B. Post.

The library served as a boundary of sorts between the barons who were building north of 42nd on 5th Avenue, and the working or blue collar class who lived and worked south of 42nd street.

The Rose Reading room is designated for reading, research and “quiet study” and is open during regular library hours.

The New York Public Library has cataloged the renovation on its site, including this time-lapse video of the re-stocking the books and materials in the reading and catalog room.


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