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This hall is part of New York State's official memorial to Theodore Roosevelt, which also includes the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall and the Central Park West façade and plaza.
The Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda is a grand space and an interior New York City landmark—but it’s best known for the iconic dinosaur exhibit at its center.
In a dramatic representation of an imagined prehistoric encounter between predator and prey, a Barosaurus rears up to protect its young from an attacking Allosaurus. The enormous Barosaurus is the world’s tallest freestanding dinosaur mount, and composed of casts of real bone, since fossils are too heavy to support in this way.
As part of New York State’s official memorial to Theodore Roosevelt, this room features four aphorisms inscribed on the walls reflecting his thoughts on youth, nature, manhood, and the state.
"I want to see you game, boys. I want to see you brave and manly, and I also want to see you gentle and tender."
"Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground."
"Courage, hard work, self-mastery, and intelligent effort are all essential to successful life."
"Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike."
"A man’s usefulness depends on his living up to his ideals insofar as he can."
"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."
"All daring and courage, all iron endurance of misfortune make for a finer, nobler type of manhood."
"Only those are fit to live who do not fear to die and none are fit to die who have shrunk from the joy of life and the duty of life."
"Our is a government of liberty by, through, and under the law."
"A great democracy must be progressive or it will soon cease to be great or a democracy."
"Aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sport the world affords."
"In popular government results worthwhile can only be achieved by men who combine worthy ideals with practical good sense."
"If I must choose between righteousness and peace, I choose righteousness."
The Rotunda displays three monumental canvasses depicting Roosevelt’s public life, which were completed by William Andrew Mackay in 1935. These are some of the largest indoor murals in a New York City public building, covering an area of more than 5,200 square feet.
The three murals depict Roosevelt’s leadership in building the Panama Canal (north wall), including his support for the then-controversial scientific findings that the mosquito, and not poor sanitation, was responsible for the spread of yellow fever in Panama; his role in negotiating the 1905 Treaty of Portsmouth between Russia and Japan, for which he became the first American to receive the Nobel Prize, in 1906 (south wall); and his 1909-1910 expedition to Africa (west wall).