I was in Hartford today and walked past the Athenaeum. There were a whole bunch of these built in various cities in the late 19th century, as places to go hear people with opposing viewpoints engage in high-minded debate.
New York never had an Athenaeum, as far as I know. This is not surprising given New Yorkers' self-image. We need a Spartanaeum, a place to go watch people with opposing viewpoints beat the living shit out of each other.