Museum of the City of New York

Are you in New York and keen to explore and visit some museums?

The Museum of the City of New York is the leading history and art cultural center of New York with over 1.5 million artifacts on show. Commissioned by Henry Collins Brown and built between 1929 and 1930, the neo-Georgian prolific building stands as testament to New York’s four-century history.

The main goal in establishing the museum was to have a place where the city’s history was kept and commemorated. Today there is a permanent exhibition entitled ‘New York At It’s Core’ that’ll take you through the city’s tumultuous rise and beginnings.

Museum Location

The Museum of the City of New York is conveniently situated at 1220-1227 Fifth Avenue, across from Central Park. This is in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. You’ll find the museum on the north-most side of the Museum Mile stretch along Fifth Avenue. Here’s a map of the museum’s location for your convenience or in case you get lost.

Getting to the Museum

Getting to the museum is fairly easy. You can either take the subway or the bus, or even walk depending on where you’re coming from. If you take the subway, take the one that’s headed for 103 street (Line 6), or 110th Street (Line 2). If you opt to take the bus, choose the ones that go via Line M1, M2, M3, M4 or M106 to 104th Street.  If you prefer cycling, bike to Fifth Avenue until you reach 103rd Street.

Museum Opening Hours and Admission Fees

admission fees and hours

The museum is open every day, Monday to Sunday from 10 am up to 6 pm – except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Adults pay $18 entrance fee, while students and seniors above 65 years pay a reduced fee of $12 per person. Children under the age of 19 enjoy a free pass. If you’ve also purchased the New York Pass ahead of time you don’t have to pay to enter the museum.

How long should you set aside if you want to fully take in everything the museum has to offer?

A lot of people find that it takes them a good two to three hours to do the full tour of the museum, including watching the narrative video about the museum and the city’s history. If you want to get the best experience, plan a day when you’re free so that you can fully immerse yourself in all that there is to read, learn, and see inside the museum.

Things to See and Do inside the Museum

Before you’ve even entered the red-brick face building, you’ll be welcomed by statues of American politician and former Mayor of New York DeWitt Clinton and American statesmen and Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. These two sculptures both face Central Park and are well-preserved in niches found in the building’s façade.

The museum boasts four floors full of classic paintings, iconic toys, timeless photographs, and scores of other intriguing collectables that have been sourced over the years.  The toy section complete with doll houses is a sight to behold.

So is the New York Interiors exhibition, which is made even more memorable by the life-size models. You’ll be able to see what the inside of homes in New York looked like during the 19th and 20th centuries.

There is also a 25-minute video entitled ‘Timescapes’ which is shown every 30 minutes that takes you through the key years in New York history. It’s ideal to watch this video before you begin your tour around the museum as you will then have a mental picture and a better understanding of where everything you’ll see next fits in. Head on over to the basement to watch it first.

The museum always has several ongoing exhibitions at any given time. There are some exhibitions that are seasonal and rotate, and some that are on show for a limited time. The best to check what’s being shown by the museum is to check their website’s exhibitions page frequently.

The Museum Today

museum today

Since its inception more than nine decades ago, the museum has continued to operate as a private non-profit organization that depends on government assistance as well as donations in cash and sponsorship to continue running.

There has also been quite a bit of controversy around the museum because of some individuals wanting to change the museum’s location. However, nothing has come to fruition and the museum continues to stand in the exact same place that it’s always called home. There were also talks to merge several museums together, but once again nothing has happened and the Museum of the City of New York continues to stand and operate as a solo entity like it has always done in the past.

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