Throwing it back to the old Lenox Library founded in 1870 by James Lenox on Fifth Avenue in what is now Lenox Hill. Lenox was a merchant and a scholar with a fortune that complimented his taste for rare books and fine art. His library housed a collection of bibles that surpassed even those of the Bodleian or British Museum and included the Mazarin Bible (the first Gutenberg Bible to cross the Atlantic). It also contained galleries that hung Gainsborough’s, Turners and other priceless works of art (including a Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington). The building itself was a treasure having been designed by the great Richard Morris Hunt.
Some years after the death of Lenox, his collection merged with the incipient New York Public Library. The wrecking ball claimed his magnificent library in 1912, but luckily for us it was replaced by an equally astounding cultural treasure trove: the Frick Collection.