10. George Peabody Library, United States
The George Peabody Library in Maryland dates to the founding of the Peabody Institute when philanthropist George Peabody dedicated the institute to the citizens of Baltimore in appreciation of their “kindness and hospitality.” Opened in 1878, this sublime library was designed by Edmund G. Lind in collaboration with the first provost, Dr. Nathaniel H. Morison. It is remarkable for its five tiers of ornamental cast-iron balconies, which rise dramatically like a wedding cake to the skylight 61 feet above the floor. The library contains more than 300,000 titles, most of which date from the 18th to early 20th centuries.