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Midtown Musings: Inside the New York Public Library

We’ve been doing Midtown Musings for a while now, highlighting our favorite spots in the neighborhood. They’ve ranged from just-opened restaurants to under-the-radar museums. Yet somehow, we missed an absolute treasure, just a few blocks away from Refinery: the New York Public Library’s Main Branch. Built in 1911, it’s a testament to the elegance of Beaux Arts architecture, with high coffered ceilings, gleaming stone walls, and rich wood detailing (not to mention rare books like a Gutenberg Bible and original works from Shakespeare, Voltaire and Walt Whitman).

Take a walk with us through the storied halls of New York Public Library.

Why study anywhere else? The grand Rose Main Reading Room, fresh off a restoration, is one of the most beautiful places to get work done in the city.

Seriously, the NYPL is all about the ceilings.

Just look at these frescoes!

All around the building, details like this mural of a man reading al fresco add a whimsical touch to the imposing grandeur.

Always remember to look up at the NYPL.

Archways everywhere!

We’ll end with this timeless quote from 17th-century English poet John Milton: “A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.”

Check out more Midtown Musings

Beyond the New York Public Library, Midtown is a treasure trove of fascinating locales. Some we love: Spanish resto Boqueria, the epic shopping experience at Dover Street Market, and, another of NYC’s iconic libraries, the Morgan Library.

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