Gould Memorial Library was designed as the centerpiece of New York University’s northern campus, with a central library surrounded by a colonnade (now the Hall of Fame). It was part of an ambitious plan to give the university a new campus free from the distractions of city life, and financed by the daughter of financier Jay Gould.
The building, considered Stanford White’s masterpiece, is a pristine Classical form, enclosing the dome-topped circular Reading Room, a spectacle of green marble columns, Tiffany gilded capitals, and life-size Classical statues. The library was relocated in 1968, and the building fell victim to fire, water leaks, and pollution damage.
The campus became Bronx Community College in 1973 and a grant from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York enabled stabilization and replication of plasterwork in the main public rooms. With funds from Getty Trust, Easton Architects created a conservation plan for the Gould Library, and repairs to the interior plaster and Tiffany windows has already begun.
Photographs by Larry Lederman © All rights reserved