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Sterling-Library.jpg

Sterling Memorial Library, 1930
James Gamble Rogers (1867-1947, B.A. 1889, M.A., Honorary, 1921)

Located at the heart of today's Central Campus, the Sterling Memorial Library is Yale's most prominent — and perhaps grandest — building. Ostensibly designed by James Gamble Rogers, the Library owes its fundamental character to Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, who was the architect of record for the project until his death in 1924. It was Goodhue who devised the concept of a low, intensely Gothic building with a stack tower at the back. Rogers developed Goodhue's design but reconfigured its plan to provide for a nave-like space leading to the reference desks. Various special reading rooms are arranged to either side, including the Starr Main Reference Room and the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, added in 1998. In the final realization it is Gamble Rogers's hand clearly at work, revealing in the building's details his superb wit. Indeed, as a carving on the Library's Wall Street façade exhorts in Latin, Sterling is a place to "make haste slowly."