American History

#OTD 1911: President William Howard Taft presided over the dedication of the New York Public Library


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Ace Press News From Cutting Room Floor: Published: May.23: 2023:

#AceHistoryDesk – Today in History – Built on the site of the Croton Reservoir, the immense marble Beaux-Arts structure required a decade of preparation and construction. With room for exhibitions as well as a picture gallery, the New York Public Library was designed to meet a variety of educational needs.

The New York Public Library building. c[between 1910 and 1920]. Detroit Publishing Company. Prints & Photographs Division

Strategically situated above seven floors of stacks, its main reading room provided researchers with requested materials as quickly as possible.

Upon his death in 1886, former New York governor Samuel J. Tilden(1814-86) left money in trust for the creation of a free public library and reading room in New York City. Nearly ten years later, the Tilden Trustcombined with two existing research institutions—the Lenox Library and the Astor Library—to form the New York Public Library. The Library also assumed management of both the New York Free Circulating Library and a new branch library system funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

The New York Public Library: President William Howard Taft presided over the dedication of the New York Public Library on May 23, 1911.

New York City Public Library. New York: A.C. Co., c1911. Robert N. Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views. New York Public Library Digital Collections

“It can hardly be thought extravagant to say that no site better adapted for a structure of suitable proportions for a metropolitan library could be carved out of any part of the city than this of Bryant Park. It is on the highest ground between the Central Park and the Battery; it is, and will continue to be, central as long as any place in New York is ever likely to be central…”

“The Tilden Trust Library: What Shall It Be?” By John Bigelow. Scribner’s Magazine. (September 1892) v.12, #3; pp287-300. The Making of America. Cornell University Librarynone

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