By Susan Waits
It was 98 years ago this month that the doors of the New York Public Library opened on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. The product of a 10-year, $9 million construction effort, the library welcomed 30,000-plus visitors on its inaugural day, offering them access to more than a million books. Today, even in an age of earbuds, podcasts, audio files, and digital readers, we still cling to the romance of real, tangible, paper books—well-worn tomes that have been shared and enjoyed by fellow community members, free of charge. Undoubtedly, with 87 branches and four research libraries across three boroughs and upwards of 50 million items available, the New York Public Library is one of our city’s greatest treasures. Read on. Visit nypl.org.
photograph by Peter Aaron/Esto
Cover shoot: May/June 2014 issue of Gotham magazine.