Museum of the City of New York in New York, NY

1220 Fifth AvenueNew York, NY 10029
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Overview

A not-for-profit museum in the heart of The Big Apple, The Museum of the City of New York offers up-close views and insight into all things New York—from the buildings and parks, to the people and sights that make it so unique. Guests can also enjoy the museum’s centerpiece experience, which is Timescapes—a 22-minute multimedia show that educates on the city’s history, narrated by Stanley Tucci.

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Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our New York Travel Experts
  • Self-guided tour.
  • The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
  • Begin your trip here for unique insight on rest of the sites you'll see in NYC.
  • Museum tells the story of NYC, past, present, and future.
  • Museum’s collection contains approximately 750,000 objects, including photographs, costumes, paintings, sculpture, and theatrical memorabilia.

Description

from Museum of the City of New York
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.

Our History:
The Museum of the City of New York was founded in 1923 by Henry Collins Brown, a Scottish-born writer with a vision for a populist approach to the city. The Museum was originally housed in Gracie Mansion, the future residence of the Mayor of New York. Hardinge Scholle succeeded Henry Brown in 1926 and began planning a new home for the Museum. The City offered land on Fifth Avenue on 103rd-104th Streets and construction for Joseph H. Freedlander’s Georgian Colonial-Revival design for the building started in 1929 and was completed in 1932. During the next few decades, the Museum amassed a considerable collection of exceptional items, including several of Eugene O’Neill’s handwritten manuscripts, a complete room of Duncan Phyfe furniture, 412 glass negatives taken by Jacob Riis and donated by his son, a man’s suit worn to George Washington’s Inaugural Ball, and the Carrie Walter Stettheimer dollhouse, which contains a miniature work by Marcel Duchamp. Today the Museum’s collection contains approximately 750,000 objects, including prints, photographs, decorative arts, costumes, paintings, sculpture, toys, and theatrical memorabilia.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Museum of the City of New York

Are baby strollers or backpacks permitted in the Museum?
All bags are subject to inspection. Visitors may check these items in the self-check area on the first floor. You may be required to store oversized items or luggage; if so, the Museum’s staff will direct you to a separate storage area. Single strollers are permitted in the galleries subject to the discretion of gallery guards.

Is there a coatroom/coat check?
Due to construction, there is a temporary self-serve coat check on the first floor.

Is Photography permitted in the Museum?
Still photography for personal, noncommercial use is permitted unless otherwise noted. Tripods and flash photography are not permitted.

What are the rules regarding use of mobile devices in the museum?
Feel free to text, tweet, and share what you see during your visit! As a courtesy to other visitors, please set your phone to vibrate and take all voice calls outside of the galleries.

Is there WIFI in the Museum?
Free WiFi access is now available throughout the Museum's building as well as on the Front Terrance. Connect with your friends and family: share insights on our special exhibitions and your visit.

Are visitors permitted to sketch in the Museum?
Pencils, sketchbooks, and notebooks are permitted. However, pens, paints, and easels are not permitted.

Is there a place to eat in the Museum?
Chalsty’s Cafe is located on the 2nd floor and is open seven days a week, 10am–5pm.

Is the Museum accessible to wheelchairs and the disabled?
The City Museum strives to accommodate visitors of all abilities. Ramp access is available on 103rd Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues. All exhibition videos are open captioned. Sign language interpretation and specialized descriptive tours are available upon advanced request.