New York Public Library reading room shuttered for six months

Library will use time to make repairs to 52-foot ceiling

The New York Public Library’s Rose Main Reading Room
The New York Public Library’s Rose Main Reading Room

Officials have announced that the New York Public Library’s Rose Main Reading Room will close for six months for inspections and repairs after a one-foot wide slab of plaster fell from the ceiling last month.

The reading room in the library’s flagship Fifth Avenue building, which was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965, typically draws 2.3 million visits a year, according to the Wall Street Journal. The room’s 52-foot-tall ceilings, from which the plaster fell, are richly adorned with painting and decorative molding.

Thus far, the library hasn’t revealed what the repairs might cost.

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“Public safety is our top priority,” Anthony Marx, the library’s president, told the Journal. “We are very proud of the library’s strong tradition of caring for this 103-year-old iconic building.”

While both the Rose Main Reading Room and the adjacent Bill Blass Public Catalog Room are shuttered for the time being, the rest of the Stephen A. Schwarzman building will remain open. [WSJ] Christopher Cameron