Stop 10. 1906 Library Building


Colin B. Bailey, Director
Situated on a residential block among its urban neighbors, J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library appears strikingly distinct yet surprisingly at home. Architect Charles Follen McKim drew on Italian Renaissance architectural precedents to design an American building that conveyed power and permanence, intimacy and grandeur. “Above all,” he told his client, “we are desirous that the design shall represent your views and reflect your judgment, in order that it may become a worthy monument to your munificence and public spirit.”

The building has remained the heart of the Morgan Library & Museum. The interior was renovated in 2010: the marble was cleaned, the displays were reimagined to allow visitors to engage more fully with the spaces and their history, and new, technologically advanced lighting was installed. In 2020–2022, the exterior of the building was restored: the roof was replaced, the foundation waterproofed and the marble and ironwork cleaned and restored. At the same time,the surrounding landscape and lighting were reimagined. These campaigns have restored the building to its original splendor, encouraging visitors to learn more about the creation and history of the Library.