3. New York Public Library (Ghost Busters)
Opening with a shot of the marble lions and followed by their first ghost encounter in the reading room, this memorable scene in Ghostbusters — one of the most famous New York movies filmed in the ’80s — occurred in the New York Public Library. While the scene was actually shot in the Los Angeles Central Library, it engendered considerable prominence for the New York Public Library.
One of the prominent features of the library is the two lions—who flank the steps of the main entrance. According to the book, The New York Public Library: The Architecture and Decoration of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the commission for the lions was obtained by Edward Clark Potter, who modeled them on the recommendation of Augustus Saint-Gauden, one of America’s foremost sculptors. The lions have become a distinguished hallmark of the library, visited and photographed by countless tourists and featured in numerous motion pictures and television shows.
Interestingly, their nicknames have changed over the decades. Originally, they were called Lea Astor and Leo Lenox, after the New York Public Library founders John Jacob Astor and James Lenox. Later, they were regarded as Lady Astor and Lord Lenox. During the 1930s, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia named them Patience and Fortitude, as he believed these were the qualities New Yorkers would need to survive the economic depression. These names have stood the test of time, as have the lions, such that the library has adopted them as its mascots.