Truly Grand Home Libraries (page 3)


This magnificent library near Kent, Connecticut houses a reported 58,000 volumes, mostly first edition mysteries. It is owned by Otto Penzler, a book seller and editor who owns The Mysterious Bookshop in NYC. The library, in a Tudor style to match the rest of his 5,000 square foot country house, took Penzler ten years to build and was completed in 2003. Books nestle in custom mahogany shelves on three floors “'People say this is a pretty big house,' Mr. Penzler said. 'I say it’s a modest-sized house attached to a very large library.'” This is the way many of us would love to live.



This library is part of the 6,000 sq ft Fairmont San Francisco Penthouse, where many famous people have stayed over the past century. The suite has been recently redesigned by Alexandra Champalimaud. The two-story circular library is crowned by a rotunda where a celestial map is rendered in gold leaf against a sapphire sky. A secret passageway is concealed behind bookshelves on the library’s second floor. How utterly cool.



This is the library of Larry McMurtry, a writer living in Archer City, Texas. His private library resides in two levels of a converted carriage house and comprises 32,000 volumes. Plain, white bookcases occupy the entire space.



This unidentified library, constructed by Candour, Ltd, a British firm, is very impressive. A two-story, semicircular room with handsome wood bookcases occupying most of the space around and a railed balcony with multiple window seats overlooking the living area below, this is a magnificent home library.



The Pierpont Morgan Library in NYC is one of the grandest libraries in the United States. It was designed by Charles McKim and built in 1906 to house the private library of financier J. P. Morgan and cost $1.2 million (at that time!) to build. Morgan, who was a noted collector, included in his library manuscripts and printed books, some of them in rare bindings, and his collection of prints and drawings. The library was made a museum and research library administered by a private trust in 1924 by his son, John Pierpont Morgan, Jr. The building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966.


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