Tour the Gould Memorial Library

Tour the Gould Memorial Library

Interior Photos by Larry Lederman, Exterior photos by Jonathan Wallen

Go inside the stunning Gould Memorial Library on a guided tour led by the architect Stanford White’s great-grandson, Samuel White!

  • Gain access to the dormant Gould Memorial Library, a designated interior and exterior landmark built in 1900
  • Admire Stanford White’s architecture and Tiffany decorations
  • Walk through the Beaux Arts processional sequence of spaces
  • Learn about White’s ingenious strategies for planning and stacking
  • Visit the busts of historic figures at the Hall of Fame of Great Americans
  • Discover how Robert A.M. Stern channels Stanford White in the new Library
  • See the most handsome campus in the CUNY system, Bronx Community College

About the event:

Gould Memorial Library (GML) was designed by Stanford White for New York University in the mid-1890s as the centerpiece of their new campus in the Bronx. Considered to be White’s masterpiece and one of his few remaining major designs, GML served NYU until they consolidated their operations back on Washington Square. Since 1972 the University Heights campus has been the home of Bronx Community College, and GML is a City, State, and National Landmark.

The design was a collaboration between White, who based the architecture on the Pantheon, and Tiffany Studios, who were responsible for the interior finishes. The building features a rotunda reading room and an auditorium, all wrapped in a layer of now-abandoned stack spaces. Today the rotunda is virtually as White designed it while Tiffany’s elaborate color scheme for the Auditorium was lost following a fire in the early 1970s. The building is currently used for lectures, conferences, and receptions, but since 1972 library functions have been accommodated elsewhere, most recently in a $60 million library designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects.

The tour includes the principal interior spaces of GML, including the grand staircase, rotunda, auditorium, and a peek at some of the back-of-hour spaces. The tour also includes the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, a Stanford White-designed peristyle containing over two hundred busts of statesmen, scientists, authors, and artists. Rarely visited today, the Hall of Fame once rivaled Niagara Falls as a popular tourist destination.

About Samuel White

The tour of Gould Memorial Library will be led by Samuel G. White, FAIA. Mr. White is a practicing architect in New York City and a founding partner of PBDW Architects, whose portfolio includes the restoration of the Armory on Park Avenue, the Powerhouse on the Gowanus Canal, and numerous institutions and new designs throughout New York City. Mr. White is a great-grandson of Stanford White and the author or co-author with Elizabeth White of four books on Stanford White’s work, most recently Stanford White in Detail, (Monacelli Press, 2020). Mr. White is an Adjunct Professor at NYU in the Department of Art History and a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Pennsylvania.

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