7. It was Once the Largest Marble Building Ever Built in the U.S.

The marble clad Astor Hall at NYPL

The New York Public Library required six times more marble than was used in the construction of the New York Stock Exchange and the New York Chamber of Commerce combined. At the time it was complete, the library contained 530,000 cubic feet, or roughly 4 acres, of white Vermont marble which came from two quarries on Dorset Mountain. In 1911, this made the New York Public Library the largest marble building ever built in the United States. Marble pieces that didn’t meet the high standards of the library’s architects were incorporated into other contemporary buildings including Harvard Medical School. Inside, there are various different types of marble found throughout the library. One gallery is clad in Pentelic marble, the same type of marble used to create the Parthenon in Greece.

The exterior marble on the library’s facade is twelve inches thick and the cornerstone alone weighs 7.5 tons. The splendor of the stone continues inside the library and is on grand display inside Astor Hall. Visitors to the library walk into Astor Hall from the Fifth Avenue entrance. To this day, this room is the only room in New York City constructed entirely of marble, from floor to ceiling. Even the candelabras that illuminate the space are made of marble.