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New York Public Library’s Iconic Lions Will Get A $250K Restoration Next Month

Bianca Bahamondes Bianca Bahamondes

New York Public Library’s Iconic Lions Will Get A $250K Restoration Next Month
The two lions welcoming visitors to the New York Public Library’s Schwartzman Building on 42nd Street are about to get a huge makeover.

A symbol of the library itself, these large marble lions—Patience and Fortitude—have been a fixture of the NYPL for the last 108 years. Now, the beloved lions will be undergo a necessary facelift. The $250,000 project will not only include a cleaning, but also any repairs the lions may need. While the lions were last conserved in 2011 and priod to that in 2004, this time around the WJE Engineers and Architects have assessed that the renovations will include:

  • filling any cracks with grout
  • doing a laser cleaning
  • reinforcing any previous repairs

During this time, the iconic lions will be covered in plywood. These conservation efforts will take place over the course of nine weeks beginning on September 2. 

The money for this large project came together between generous donations from hundreds of New Yorkers along with a sizable grant from The New York Life Foundation. President of New York Public Library, Anthony W. Marx, feels this restoration was a long time coming, stating:

“The lions have earned some time at the spa. For over 100 years, they have stoically guarded our building on bustling Fifth Avenue, delighting visitors and providing calm hope at all times that with knowledge we will prevail. They are the true kings of this city, beloved by all. As great stewards of this building, it is critical that we maintain the lions and ensure that they are strong to inspire everyone for generations to come.”

According to the NYPL, Patience and Fortitude require conservation about every seven to ten years because over time elements like snow, rain, wind, and even traffic exhaust takes a toll on the porous Tennessee pink marble the lions are made of.

\featured image source: shutterstock


Also published on Medium.