The magnificent main branch of the NY Public Library opened in May, 1911 on 5th Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets. The marble lions were given the nicknames "Patience" and "Fortitude" by Mayor of Fiorello LaGuardia during the depression of the 1930's to remind New Yorkers that these qualities are needed to endure and overcome the challenges and hardships of the time.
Of course, patience and fortitude are very much needed today given the immense obstacles that we face to overcome the impact of the pandemic and find ways to revitalize our city and our communities. New York City's rich history contains many examples of the resilience, resourcefulness and generosity of our people, our local organizations and government.
To learn more about these big cats, check out the NY Public Library's post along with other library resources and events.
(photo by Jonathan Blanc/NYPL).