A Historical Space for Your Educational and Cultural Public Programs
The main reading room of The General Society Library soars to a height of three stories and is topped by a magnificent skylight. Faux marble pillars, ironwork, and wooden shelving lend the reading room an ambiance that makes it a rare and special place.
Areas within the building available for short term rentals include the Library, Balcony, Classrooms and Conference Space. The building has 16 spacious classrooms. These versatile spaces are perfect for lectures, classes, receptions, and more. These rooms can be transformed to fit any need.
Designed by Lamb and Rich and constructed originally as the Berkeley School for Boys, 20 West 44th Street was acquired by The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen in 1899. Member and generous benefactor Andrew Carnegie generously provided the funds to expand the building in 1903 significantly. The expansion was designed by Ralph S. Townsend and blends monumental Beaux-Arts classicism with Renaissance elements.
The building exterior is composed of Indiana limestone, yellow Roman brick, and terra-cotta. A partial reproduction of the Parthenon frieze, taken from casts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, underscores the importance of the front entrance.
The Building is available Monday through Saturday and closed on all major holidays. Sundays will be considered upon special request.
The Building is not yet fully wheelchair accessible.