6. There are Tiny Doors that Lead to Nowhere

Tiny doors to nowhere in the New York Public Lirbary

Have you ever noticed the tiny doors with mini balconies on the exterior facade of the New York Public Library, set between the arched windows of the Rose Reading Room? Clearly not level with the floor of the Reading Room and not proportionate to the monumental scale of the building, it was a mystery where these doors led and what their purpose was.

Tiny doors to nowhere in the New York Public Library

It turns out that those doors can be accessed from the catwalk of the Reading Room. Between the windows, there are wooden doors that open up to a few stairs and a short, undecorated passageway that ends at the tiny door that can be seen from the outside. When Untapped Cities discovered this, there was a foreboding sign on the door that read, “DANGER! DO NOT UNLOCK THIS DOOR!” and a window with cross bars. Photographer Max Touhey explained to us that according to the New York Public Library, the doors were built as part of a planned extension of the building which never happened. He also says one of the windows does open and offers a view of Bryant Park.