Public Library Lions

Patience, 1940.

Patience, 1940.

The marble lions guarding the New York Public Library's Beaux-Arts Fifth Avenue Branch are some of the most iconic figures in the city. Originally named Leo Astor and Leo Lenox, after The New York Public Library founders John Jacob Astor and James Lenox, During the 1930s, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia named them Patience and Fortitude, for the qualities he felt New Yorkers needed to survive the Great Depression depression. These names have stuck over the decades the test of time: Patience still guards the south side of the Library's entrance (first photo above pictured in the 1940s) with Fortitude (second photo in a snowstorm, 1940s) on the north side.

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