McGraw Rotunda Mural

Enter your search query in the box below.

Home > New York State Photographs > New York Public Library > McGraw Rotunda Mural

The Linotype-Mergenthaler and Whitelaw Reid (New York Herald Tribune) Mural. The mural is in the McGraw Rotunda in the New York Public Library.

The Linotype-Mergenthaler and Whitelaw Reid (New York Herald Tribune) Mural. The mural is in the McGraw Rotunda in the New York Public Library. The Mergenthaler Linotype Company is a corporation founded in the United States in 1886 to market the Linotype machine, a system to cast metal type in lines (linecaster) invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler.

Credit to Vincent Desjardins the photographer.

The McGraw Rotunda

The McGraw Rotunda (formerly Central Hall) is a rectangular barrel-vaulted space on the third floor, at the top of the stairs from Astor Hall. Two passageways lead northward and southward from the rotunda. The Public Catalog Room is to the west and the Salomon Room is to the east. The entrances to both rooms are flanked by freestanding marble pedestals. The floors are made of Hauteville and Gray Siena marble. The rotunda's walls contain red marble bases with dark wood piers supporting a plaster or stucco barrel vault. On the north and south ends of the barrel vault are glazed open windows. There are alcoves on the side walls, supported by columns with Corinthian capitals, which were intended to contain murals. The rotunda also includes a booth where visitors can sign up for free guided tours of the Rose Main Reading Room.

The rotunda contains a set of panels painted by Edward Laning in the early 1940s as part of a WPA project. The work includes four large panels, two lunettes above doorways to the Public Catalog and Salomon Rooms, and a ceiling mural painted on the barrel vault. The four panels are located on the east and west walls and depict the development of the written word. The lunette above the Public Catalog Room's doorway is "Learning to Read", and the lunette about the Salomon Room's doorway is "The Student". The ceiling mural is called "Prometheus Bringing Fire to Men". The four panels and two lunettes were completed in 1940, and the ceiling mural was completed in 1942.

New York Public Library Main Branch

The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, commonly known as the Main Branch, 42nd Street Library or the New York Public Library, is the flagship building in the New York Public Library system in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood of New York City. The branch, one of four research libraries in the library system, contains nine separate divisions. The structure contains four stories open to the public. The main entrance steps are at Fifth Avenue at its intersection with East 41st Street. As of 2015, the branch contains an estimated 2.5 million volumes in its stacks. The building was declared a National Historic Landmark, a National Register of Historic Places site, and a New York City designated landmark in the 1960s.

The Main Branch was built after the New York Public Library was formed as a combination of two libraries in the late 1890s. The site, along Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets, is located directly east of Bryant Park, on the site of the Croton Reservoir. The architectural firm Carrère and Hastings constructed the structure in the Beaux-Arts style, and the structure opened on May 23, 1911. The marble facade of the building contains ornate detailing, and the Fifth Avenue entrance is flanked by a pair of stone lions that serve as the library's icon. The interior of the building contains the Main Reading Room, a space measuring 78 by 297 feet (24 by 91 m) with a 52-foot-high (16 m) ceiling; a Public Catalog Room; and various reading rooms, offices, and art exhibitions.

The Main Branch became popular after its opening and saw 4 million annual visitors by the 1920s. It formerly contained a circulating library, though the circulating division of the Main Branch moved to the nearby Mid-Manhattan Library in 1970. Additional space for the library's stacks was constructed under adjacent Bryant Park in 1991, and the branch's Main Reading Room was restored in 1998. A major restoration from 2007 to 2011 was underwritten by a $100 million gift from philanthropist Stephen A. Schwarzman, for whom the branch was subsequently renamed. The branch underwent another expansion starting in 2018. The Main Branch has been featured in many television shows and films.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York, United States Manhattan Bridge, Manhattan, NYC, United States Empire State Building, Midtown Manhattan, New York, United States