Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (New York Public Library Main Branch)
The century-old building, known as the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, houses an enormous collection of volumes relating to humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. The library is a staple of sightseeing tours and architecture-themed walking tours of the midtown area; some movie-themed tours also stop at the library to see where key scenes fromGhostbusters andBreakfast at Tiffany’s were filmed. Inside, explore exhibition spaces where displays spotlight influential writers and NYC history.
Things to Know Before You Go
The New York Public Library is a must for book lovers, who can walk right in off the street and explore.
Tours leave from the reception in Astor Hall, and are available on a first-come basis.
The library is a functioning research library so remain quiet in reading rooms and silence your phone.
The library is stroller- and wheelchair- accessible. Ramped access is available at the 42nd Street entrance.
There’s free Wi-Fi, public restrooms, and a water fountain at the library.
How to Get There
The main branch of the New York Public Library is on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Nearby subway stops include 42nd Street–Bryant Park/Fifth Avenue Station (7, B, D, F, and M trains), and Grand Central–42nd Street (4, 5, 6, 7, and S).
When to Get There
The library is busiest between June and September, and during the holiday season. Go on a midweek morning to experience it at its calmest. Free 1-hour guided tours take place at 11am and 2pm Monday-Saturday, and at 2pm on Sundays.
The Rose Main Reading Room
Situated on the third floor, the Rose Main Reading Room is hailed as the highlight of the lavish library. Stretching for the length of approximately two city blocks, this elaborate space features overhead murals depicting the sky, carved oak tables, and hanging chandeliers.
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