10. The Library’s Lions Don’t Have Official Names

Known today as Patience and Fortitude, the lions who stand guard at the entrance of the New York Public Library have gone by many names, but officially they don’t one. Sculpted out of Tennessee marble by Edward C. Potter, they were originally called Leo Astor and Leo Lenox after the library’s founders John Jacob Astor and James Lenox.

There was a time when they were called Lady Astor and Lord Lenox, though both lions are male. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia was the first to call them Patience and Fortitude. He chose these names because he felt they represented the virtues needed for New Yorkers to weather the Great Depression. The name has stuck ever since. Patience sits on the south side of the steps and Fortitude on the north.

Next, check out Top 10 Secrets of Grand Central Terminal, the Top 10 Secrets of the Chrysler Building and the secrets of the Flatiron Building.