Posted by: Lindsay | October 3, 2009

Libraries are free.

2414693391_fdd4cdf7c8Beautiful. I love libraries. In DC, I spent most of my time at the West End branch reading about politics and generational theories. Now in Brooklyn I have already fallen in love with the Brooklyn Central Library, and the architecture is only part of the reason.

2435297750_b6a5a15439 The first thing I noticed about the building as I walked from around the trees at Grand Army Plaza were the magnificent and intricate gold symbols climbing up the entrance way, ascending from the black iron doors. Absolutely wonderful! I was immediately taken with the whale on the left. What simplicity! What symbolism!

This picture seems to indicate that the man standing to the immediate right of the Melvillian whale is Walt Whitman, one of my favorite poets because of his influence on my own transient, unpredictable life (“Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road/ Healthy, free, the world before me/ The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.”) However, try as I might, I had difficulty finding any information about these symbols. Are they all literary references? Does anyone know what they mean? Or who chose them? Or who designed them?

I am frustrated by the lack of information.

Photo credits: WallyG from the Brooklyn Public Library pool on


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