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The New York Public Library, Rose Main Reading Room

New York, New York

Architect: Davis Brody Bond
Completion: 1998

The lighting design goal for this landmark space was to restore its original architectural splendor while increasing the light levels to meet the library’s modern needs. The theme was to conceal and reveal: conceal new lighting sources and reveal the historic architectural qualities. The Library insisted we use only existing lamps.

Historically, the gloomy entry vestibule had no electric lighting. To brighten the entry, two historic reproductions of linear bar fixtures, each holding six glass shaded incandescent lamps, were chain mounted from the balcony’s side rails. Original chandeliers were cleaned and relamped with globe incandescent lamps. To maintain the historic quality, no modifications were made to these fixtures.

1999 IESNY Lumen
1999 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award, New York Landmark Conservancy