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Monday, May 23, 2011

Patience and Fortitude

Besides being two excellent traits to describe what a writer needs to have daily to survive as a writer, Patience and Fortitude are the names of two marble lions that sit outside of the New York Public Library!

Where did that come from?

100 Years ago today the New York Public Library was dedicated in a ceremony presided over by President Taft.  It is the largest marble structure in the United States, occupying two city blocks. 

The two Lions were modeled by sculptor Edward Clark Potter, and carved from pink Tennessee marble by the Piccirilli Brothers.  They had several nick names over the last hundred years but the ones that stuck were bestowed on them by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in the 1930's.  Patience sits on the south side of the steps, while Fortitude majestically sits upon the north side of the steps of the Beaux-Arts building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan, NY.  For the last hundred years the world renowned lions have been a favorite and cherished landmark of New York City.  As of 2004 when they were professionally cleaned and restored it was suggested and legislated that the city stop decorating them for the seasons to help insure they survive the next hundred years.

This is a picture of Patience.

I have to marvel that a city would commit so much to a library!  How grand, beautiful, and awe inspiring to build a two block marble library adorned with such carvings to protect and house the cities books and it has survived 100 years!

It makes me proud to be an author that some people care this much for literature and books.


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