Petition Closed

Landmark the New York Public Library Rose Reading Room

This petition had 2,065 supporters

We, the undersigned, urge the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate the Rose Reading Room and other significant public spaces in the 42nd Street Library as interior landmarks.

Right now, only Astor Hall, the McGraw Rotunda and the staircases that connect them have been designated interior landmarks. In 2013, the Library’s Community Board voted to request designation for the Rose Reading Room and letters from leading preservation groups followed. But LPC ignored these requests. No hearings were held. Now that the Rose Reading Room has been reopened it is time for LPC to act. We must ensure that these exquisite rooms remain protected for future generations before NYPL embarks on planned renovations.

Designed by Carrère and Hastings in 1911, these grand rooms rank among the finest examples of Beaux-Arts interiors in the United States. They are a masterful synthesis of form, spatial planning, and decorative arts where every detail, from the door handles to the readers lecterns, contributes harmoniously to the joyous pursuit of reading, contemplation, and study.

The Main Reading Room represents the culmination of a processional journey into the heart of a “machine for reading in” and has been immortalized in print and film. Its intricately carved delivery desk conceals a mechanized book delivery system, which has been altered without any public review. Seventeen arched windows allow ample daylighting for readers sitting at Carrère and Hastings designed tables with matching chairs. Above, the richly ornamented plaster ceiling frames illusionistic murals of sky and clouds that reinforce the room’s bright, airy quality.

In addition to the spectacular Rose Main Reading Room, the 42nd Street Library contains a remarkable suite of eleven richly appointed rooms, each deserving interior landmark designation. These spaces include the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room, the Samuel and Jeane H. Gottesman Exhibition Hall, the DeWitt Wallace Periodicals Room, the The Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division Room, the Celeste Bartos Forum, the Edna B. Salomon Room, the Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room for Rare Books and Manuscripts, the Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Gallery, the North-South Gallery, and The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art & Architecture Room.

After forty years of waiting, it is time to confer landmark designation to New York’s most celebrated interiors!

Today: Save NYPL is counting on you

Save NYPL needs your help with “Meenakshi Srinivasan: Landmark the New York Public Library Rose Reading Room”. Join Save NYPL and 2,064 supporters today.