The NYPL's grand Rose Reading Room has been closed for over two years, ever since that ancient plaster rosette came falling from the sky. They've been working non-stop to reopen, and will do so a bit ahead of schedule—this week they announced you can expect you to reenter the Rose Main Reading Room and the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room on October 5th.

“The Library has eagerly anticipated the reopening of these glorious rooms, architectural gems which for over 100 years have been home to scholars, writers, students, and all members of the public who want to access our renowned research collections, learn, and create,” said NYPL President Tony Marx. “As great stewards of all of our libraries, we are proud of this important project, which ensures that these spectacular spaces remain as inspiring as they were on the day they opened.”

The two adjacent rooms—located on the third floor of the iconic building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street—have been undergoing not only repairs, but restoration, and the progress has been well documented by the team.

The NYPL says that the ceilings—built in 1911 along with the rest of the Library—were in good condition, according to WJE Engineers & Architects, P.C., but they decided to make some improvement, which included:

  • Recreating and replacing the rosette that fell
  • Reinforcing all 900 rosettes in both rooms with steel cables
  • Enlisting renowned muralists EverGreene Architectural Arts to recreate a 27 by 33 foot James Wall Finn mural on the ceiling of the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room.
  • Restoration of the Room’s chandeliers, including putting in LED lights.

Click through for a look at the $12 million restoration—all they need to do now is put all those books back on the shelves!

Note: The Library is now offering a free exhibition documenting the recent work on the Reading Room, which includes that pesky rosette, as well as documentation of other historic efforts to preserve the 42nd Street Library. You can check out "Preserving a Masterpiece: From Soaring Ceilings to Subterranean Storage" now through October 9th.