For blossoming botany enthusiasts and horticulture specialists alike, there’s no better destination than the LuEsther T. Mertz Library at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. An impressively vast resource for all things plant-related, the library offers over 550,000 volumes, including rare texts on such subjects as medieval herbs and eighteenth-century European landscape design, as well as delightful illustrations of flora and rotating curated exhibitions of art and literature. But the library’s draw is not confined to its contents. Its stately Beaux Arts building, which, like the entire garden, turns 125 this year, was designed by noted British architect Robert W. Gibson and is an elegant testament to civic achievement. A grand fountain sits in front of the structure’s sprawling neoclassical columned façade and domed roof. Wandering through centuries of botanical scholarship is a fine complement to a day spent exploring the 250-acre combination museum and park. Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke
2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx
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