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Monday, 24 December 2012 13:06

Tiffany Reading Room, a Hidden Gem, Restored

The Tiffany Reading room located in Irvington, New York’s Town Hall opened this month after years of restoration. Designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the renowned artist, decorator, and glassmaker, the Tiffany Reading Room boasts lettering gilded in gold leaf, glass mosaics, and turtleback lanterns.

Louis Tiffany (1848-1933), the son of Tiffany & Co. founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812-1902), was a long-time resident of both New York City and Irvington; an affluent suburb located just 20 miles north of midtown Manhattan. Charles Tiffany served as a trustee of Irvington’s Mental and Moral Improvement Society, which donated the land on which the Town Hall was built in 1892. The Society’s only stipulation was that the building should include a free reading room for the public’s enjoyment. In keeping with this request, Helen Gould, the daughter of railroad magnate Jay Gould, donated $10,000 to have the room designed by Louis Tiffany.

Once a majestic and beautifully decorated space, the Reading Room had fallen into disrepair by the late 1990s. Inspired by a letter from Tiffany’s great-grandson, Irvington residents formed the Tiffany Room Committee and embarked on a $280,000, eight-year-long restoration. The result of their efforts is a Reading Room that has been returned to its original grandeur, featuring restored mosaics and wall sconces and tables and chairs by Tiffany Studios.  

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