7. Stephen A. Schwarzman Building New York Public Library (1895)
The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, often referred to as the “main branch” of the New York Public Libraries, was constructed in 1895. The first collection was formed through the consolidation of the Astor and Lenox Libraries. While John Jacob Astor focused on quantity in his collection that contained around 80,000 books, James Lenox focused on rarity. One of the most notable texts in his collection is the United States’ first edition of the Guttenberg Bible. Since the consolidation of the collections, the branch has evolved into one of the most comprehensive library collections across all occupations.
Today, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building hosts up to 15 million items including everything from medieval manuscripts to the latest novels. The library officially opened to the public on May 24, 1911 and was dedicated to President William Howard Taft. The building did not receive its current name until 2008 when Stephen A. Schwarzman donated $100 million dollars to expand the New York Public Library.