Beloved Patience and Fortitude celebrated their 109th anniversary in May and kept the Stephen A. Schwarzman building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street for as long.
“Like them, New Yorkers are strong and resilient and can withstand any storm. We will be moving to the other side of this public health crisis together, “said NYPL president Anthony W. Marx. “But to do that, we must remain vigilant, we must have patience and courage, and we must follow what the experts tell us, especially since we continue to reopen our cities. ”
It is a tradition that NYPL decorates lions, as they do each year with wreaths in December. The pair even wore Mets and Yankees caps during the Subway 2000 series – but this is the first time they have worn masks.
During the 1930s, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia named them Patience and Fortitude, for the qualities he believed New Yorkers would need to survive the economic depression, according to the NYPL. This message still applies as residents lead the battle against COVID-19, says Marx.
Lions may be following a trend, as the famous gold statues of Rockefeller made their debut with their giant masks a week ago.