If you're new to New York City, you've already probably walked by and maybe visited the New York Public Library's main branch (the big ass building next to Bryant Park, in case you just got off the bus) but you have yet to experience the beautiful Rose Reading Room.

The gorgeous room, first opened in 1911, closed for repairs in 2014 when a plaster rosette fell from the 52 foot high ceiling.

After $12 million and two years of work, construction in NYC was ahead of schedule for the first time ever, and the Rose Main Reading Room and the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room will by open to the public by October 5th.

The big project was, of course, the ceiling. They've recreated and replaced the rosette that fell, but also reinforced all of the 900 rosettes in both rooms with steel cables. The Rose Reading Room's chandeliers were also restored and outfitted with LED lights.

In addition, Muralists EverGreene Architectural Arts were hired to recreate a 27 x 33 foot James Wall Finn mural on the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room's ceilings.

According to Gothamist, the two adjacent rooms, which are on the third floor of the building, have also undergone repairs and restoration.

“The Library has eagerly anticipated the reopening of these glorious rooms, architectural gems which for over 100 years have been home to scholars, writers, students, and all members of the public who want to access our renowned research collections, learn, and create,” said NYPL President Tony Marx. 


“As great stewards of all of our libraries, we are proud of this important project, which ensures that these spectacular spaces remain as inspiring as they were on the day they opened.”

This well documented project has also spawned a free exhibition at the NYPL that features photos of reconstructing the Rose Reading Room, but also other efforts to preserve the Stephen A. Schwartzman Building. It will be on display until October 9th.

Check out some photos of the renovation below:

[via Gothamist] [Feature Image Courtesy Gothamist]