June 19, 2018

NYPL Lions Get a Facelift

By LJ Staff

They are undoubtedly the most famous library icons on earth, and after 93 years on the job, they’ve gotten a facelift. Patience and Fortitude, the New York Public Library’s (NYPL) magnificent marble lions perched outside the flagship 42nd St. facility, on November 8 began a restoration to repair minor cracks, pitting, and blemishes. They are undoubtedly the most famous library icons on earth, and after 93 years on the job, they’ve gotten a facelift. Patience and Fortitude, the New York Public Library’s (NYPL) magnificent marble lions perched outside the flagship 42nd St. facility, on November 8 began a restoration to repair minor cracks, pitting, and blemishes. In 2000, the firm of Bresnan Architects assessed the lions and declared them "structurally sound" but suffering from minor weathering as well as effects of pollution–not to mention overenthusiastic library fans climbing on them. According to NYPL, the damage appears "as a roughness of the marble grain, a slight loss of detail in the carving, and several hairline cracks." Now, smaller cracks have been filled with grout while two larger cracks in Fortitude required the insertion of stainless steel pins. Gypsum deposits have been removed, and the lions also received a thorough cleaning. NYPL held an unveiling ceremony November 18 to celebrate the $114,000 makeover of the ultimate library cats. True New Yorkers, the statues, which are five feet seven inches tall and just over 11 feet long, were designed by Edward Clark Potter and carved in the Bronx in 1911.

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