Most of us are familiar with Patience and Fortitude, the world-renowned pair of marble lions that stand proudly before the majestic Beaux-Arts library building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan. They have captured the imagination and affection of New Yorkers and visitors from all over the world.
History: Their names of the lions have changed over the years. After the dedication, the pair were named Leo Aster and Leo Lenox, after the library’s founders, Jacob Aster and James Lenox. Later, folks decided to dress them up in costume and name them Lady Astor and Lord Lenox. N
Who knew that we have two sets of lions guarding public libraries in NYC?
Actually, there are two more lions, a pair, of sleeping, cousins, in the Bronx,at the NYC Riverdale Library. The lions, each weighing about 900 pounds are sprawled lazily on stone pedestals with their eyelids closed at the libraries entrance.
Though smaller than the NYCPL lions, they began their public life at the Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue. At their present location in Riverdale, they have been named “River” and “Dale.”
Are these the only pair(s) of lions in the city?
Are you are familiar with two lions named Stephen and Stitt,?
These two lions keep watch over the HSBC bank at Canal Street and Bowery.
History: Lions have appeared on the English coat-of-arms ever since the arrival of William the Conqueror in 1066, and the Peking Lion holds a great significance in Chinese tradition. It isn’t surprising therefore, that two lion sculptures can be found guarding many of the HSBC offices around the world today. Note: The HSBC name is derived from the initials of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
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