white men with money

Steve Schwarzman’s Great Library Gift, Writ Small

Schwarzman Public Library

The locations of the small engravings of Schwarzman’s name that will be added to the library.Photos: Christina Hribar

When we learned that Steve Schwarzman’s name would not be emblazoned on the architrave (bet you didn’t think we knew that word) above the columns at the Public Library, we were relieved for the city of New York. It’s wonderful that Schwarzman donated $100 million to the institution, but it will always be the “Public Library,” that legendary place that was haunted by ghosts in Ghostbuster and where Jake Gyllenhaal fled when the world ended in The Day After Tomorrow. The “Schwarzman Library” wouldn’t sound public at all — it would sound exclusive and rich (and also, let’s face it, bald). Instead, the Times reports that the name of the Blackstone Group CEO will be subtly added in five places, as indicated above. “If not shouted,” the paper observes, the name was “quietly yet firmly spoken to the world.” It will be written in a special old-timey font in letters under three inches high. We’d imagine Schwarzman was bummed that his surname will not join the names Astor, Lenox and Tilden that are written on the attic of the façade (again with the terms!) — except that part of the deal was that no other name will ever again be emblazoned on the building. Schwarzman can rest easy that for the foreseeable future, as we’re just he has long dreamed, his name, and only his, will be grouped with those of the great philanthropic shapers on New York.

After Big Gift, a New Name for the Library [NYT]

Steve Schwarzman’s Great Library Gift, Writ Small