Truly Grand Home Libraries (page 2)

3006 (from virtual tour by architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson)
description from

Perhaps the most mysterious celebrity library is Bill Gates' Library. No photographs of it can be found online. I was able to find a virtual tour of his house and capture a screenshot of the hallway outside the Library, showing a peek into the main Library room. From the virtual tour, it appears that at least two bookcase bays flank each side of the opening behind the fireplace, and bookshelves line the tall rear wall.

A description at from 1997 describes it as 2,100 square feet in size. "The ornate, paneled library has a domed reading room with oculus (light well), fireplace, and two secret pivoting bookcases, one containing a bar. It's the fitting home for Leonardo da Vinci's 16th-century notebook, the Codex Leicester, which Gates bought for $30.8 million."



George Lucas, of Star Wars fame, built this magnificent two-story library at Skywalker Ranch, a company retreat in Marin County, California in 1985. The library features a forty-foot stained glass dome, a circular staircase, beautiful wood paneling and trim work and of course, bookcases all around. The library houses 27,000 volumes and large collections of video, photo and press clipping archives, including the defunct Paramount Studios and Universal Studios research collections dating from the early days of filmmaking that Lucas acquired for this library. There are not many photographs of it and visitors are rarely allowed, but there is an interesting interview with two of the librarians that describes the collections in detail here.


3009 (Photo by Cecil Beaton) (Sotheby's)

The absolutely breathtaking library at the Château de Groussay in France. The Chateau was built in 1815 and enlarged in the late 1930s by the French aesthete Carlos de Beistegui. The library has two circular staircases stretching up to the book-lined landing, and the ceiling must be more than twenty feet in height. It was interior and set designer Cecil Beaton's inspiration for the Henry Higgins library in the 1964 film My Fair Lady (shown in Libraries in Film). Among the greatest of private residential libraries.

Here's an article about the room, here or here (cached).



The author and bibliophile, Umberto Eco (author of The Name of the Rose, among other titles), reportedly owns 50,000 books. 30,000 are stored in his Milan house, pictured here (the other 20,000 reside in his Rimini house). While not a grand, architectural library, per se, his collections are so impressive in numbers as to constitute grandness in themselves.

The long hall contains only fiction, while the large room contains glass display cabinets for rare works plus numerous other sections, including: an entire bookcase of books written by him and translated into every language; several shelves of books written about him; a section of books to give away; a section of books concerning "jerks" (cretini? Dumézil and Zolla …); and a "cemetery," a series of photos of Eco with Montale, Moravia, Foucalt, etc…. Fifty thousand books. Incredible.


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