Some of the most iconic interior spaces at the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, located at 476 Fifth Avenue, in Midtown, are now on track to be designated interior landmarks. On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to calendar the Rose Main Reading Room and the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room. Both are located on the third floor.
The building, designated an individual landmark in 1967, was designed by Carrere & Hastings. Construction started in 1898 and the library opened in May of 1911. The lobby, stairs, and landings leading to the spaces were designated interior landmarks in 1974.
Now comes the time to complete the designation. These rooms are the principal research and work spaces in the library, featuring oak woodwork and chandeliers. The Rose room, measuring 297 feet by 78 feet, contains a delivery desk in the middle and three murals of the sky by artist James Wall Finn. Following an extensive and meticulous restoration, it reopened to the public in the fall of 2016.
LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said she was “thrilled” that these “stunning” spaces were being put on the calendar. She described them as “some of the most deserving rooms in New York City.” Indeed, LPC research department staff member Matt Postal was not exaggerating when he said their magnificence rivals that of Grand Central Terminal.
The vote to calendar was unanimous. The next step will be a public hearing. No date for that has been set.