Snow lions flank the New York Public Library

In December 1948, a blizzard (remember those?) covered New York in almost 20 inches of white powder. An army of more than 18,000 men shoveled and plowed the snow as it fell all night.

They must have done a good job, because incredibly, city schools were all open the next morning.


But they didn’t clear away the snow from the two library lions, Patience and Fortitude, who have been guarding the main entrance of the New York Public Library since 1911.

They look lovely blanketed in snow.

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8 Responses to “Snow lions flank the New York Public Library”

  1. Marieke Mills Says:

    Gorgeous image. And indeed… that’s an incredible job.

  2. James Says:

    I was hired to clear snow in downtown Brooklyn and worked for about 6 hours and had lunch in the Automat. I was 18 and enjoyed the opportunity to earn a few dollars. our supervisor was a late middle aged Sanitation
    Department employee who really pushed us.

  3. Timothy Grier Says:

    I remember NYC Sanitation guys shoveling snow one evening in the early 1960s in my neighborhood on the Lower East Side. My parents made a batch of hot chocolate and we served it to the workers. I remember standing in the lobby of our building while the workers took a break with us.

  4. Kristy Rhine Says:

    I love the lions at the public library!

  5. Walk About New York Says:

    Love Patience and Fortitude. Those qualities are what New Yorkers need to get through rough times, as Mayor LaGuardia advised in the 1930s. That is how the lions got their names.

  6. Cristi Cruz Reyes Says:

    I love the names: Patience and Fortitude. With both we can achieve any goal!

  7. Cristi Cruz Reyes Says:

    Reblogged this on Mi blog de libros and commented:
    Last July I wrote an entry about the Library Way in New York and mentioned the two lions guarding the NY Public Library. See how nice they look covered in snow.

  8. Alex Says:

    1948 was my dad’s first year in America from Europe. He supposedly came to get a college degree in economics and accounting but ended up working (not so temporarily) in a restaurant on the Upper West Side near Columbia for his uncles.They sent him out to clear the snow, but he was not used to the cold, and he never dealt with snow before. Clearing 20 inches was all too much for him and he went back inside the store halfway through because he felt like he was going to die. My uncle saw he was pale as a ghost and trembling and made him lie down in a cot in the basement. They never sent him out to clear the snow again.

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