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Museum of the City of New York
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Ranked #103 of 1,115 things to do in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The Museum of the City of New York celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation. Founded in 1923 as a private, nonprofit corporation, the Museum connects the past, present, and future of New York City. It serves the people of New York and visitors from around the world through exhibitions, school and public programs, publications, and collections. Currently Under Construction: "New York at its Core" a landmark three gallery exhibition covering NYC's 400+ year history. Coming this November!
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Lockers / storage, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
Reviewed June 27, 2013

There were several exhibits at the City Museum we liked. Micro Housing was fascinating and exciting to imagine the possibilities for attractively increasing density. Even more interesting was the Activist Exhibit. This exhibit covered the spectrum of activism as a part of the City's history, beginning with the revolution, Civil War and abolitionists and extending to the fascinating bicyclists activism. I appreciated that the opposite side was also covered in the section related to the conservatives. Had to laugh at that. Great perspective of the City's history. All the exhibits were well put together and easy to access. It was well worth the time and the building is stunning. Let's face it, this museum is well funded!

Thank Carolingaround
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 26, 2013

We enjoyed our visit to this museum which had a most informative film - Timescape - we learned much about the development of New York from it.

Enjoyed a cup of tea in their café whilst looking across to Central Park. They also have good restroom facilities

Great gift shop - they have some lovely things

Thank VintageCumbrianLass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2013

This museum occupies a handsome historic building, which is part of its appeal. This was substantially enhanced by a stunning installation of tiny lights, suspended in the middle of the curved staircase by an assembly of wires and creating a 3-D design that I found mesmerizing; I've tried without luck to research the installation, so I don't know if it is part of the permanent decor or a temporary display. Either way, it certainly merits more than a passing glance.

From the entrance, the logical first stop is the excellent 20-minute video 'Timescapes,' currently being played twice an hour in a temporary gallery while the auditorium is being refurbished. The video tells the tale of New York's growth from a harbor haven, outward to the wilds of Manhattan and then the outer boroughs, matched by the development of industry, population, and cosmopolitan life. It is well produced and compelling.

Beyond that - and a small shop and cafeteria - the museum is devoted to rotating exhibits, so the success of a visit depends largely on how those exhibits are received. When we visited in early June, we were disappointed by an exhibit on urban micro-housing; except for a life-sized model of what seemed to be a very effective if carefully tailored apartment (sadly, it sported 'Do Not Touch' signs throughout, as visitors were expected to experience the clever fittings through a looping video), the exhibit consisted mostly of floor plans and photos. Yawn.

Another exhibit was on Greenwood Cemetery. We found the items pertaining to the grounds, history, and even funerary monuments to be only mildly interesting. Far more appealing were mini-exhibits on some of the deceased, made famous (or nearly so) by an quirky assortment of achievements, professions, inventions, or relatives. Great fun to be surprised by who had done what - a crowd united only by their final resting place.

Other exhibits at the time - on designer Steven Burrows and on 'Activist New York - somehow failed to engage us. On the other hand, an upcoming exhibit of relics of the early 20th century Gilded Age bodes well, and I regret just missing a showing of Currier & Ives prints. It's worth checking to see how interesting the combined displays might be before planning a visit - it could mean the different between delight and dismay.

1  Thank ayyar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2013 via mobile

Throughly enjoyed our visit to this museum. The timescape film was a good summary of NYC development. We enjoyed the greenwood cemetery exhibit as well. We will be back as the exhibits change frequently. Call ahead to see what's there. 10 admission.

1  Thank VICMAD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

Worse museum ever - top floor had miniture apartment layouts and next floor had descriptions of those buried in Central Park - total waste of time and money

6  Thank IrishTraveller0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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