Among the interesting items you’ll find at this stately Beaux-Arts building are the stuffed animals that— along with a real-life bear named Winnie—were the inspiration for the tales of Winnie-the-Pooh and friends; a writing table that belonged to Charles Dickens; and maps that show how people viewed the world centuries ago. Millions of books rest on miles of bookshelves, just waiting to be picked up and read. For more than a hundred years, this bounty of knowledge has been guarded by two loyal sentries. Meet Patience and Fortitude—guardians of the library.
Edward Clark Potter, an artist known for his animal sculptures, designed these fantastic felines. The Piccirilli Brothers then carved the statues from Tennessee pink marble at their studio in the Bronx. Patience and Fortitude were ready to greet visitors when the NYPL opened for the first time on May 23, 1911.
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