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The Children’s Museum of Manhattan will move to Central Park West—and triple in size!

The museum got the OK to take over a stunning 120-year-old building with landmark status

Written by
Danielle Valente

UPDATED JUNE 16, 2020: The Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously approved the Children's Museum of Manhattan's plan to renovate a historic 120-year-old church designed by Carrère and Hastings, the same architects behind the New York Public Library and the Frick Collection. The renovation of the high-ceilinged building by FXCollaborative will triple the size of the CMOM.

The Children's Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) is about to embark on an epic NYC adventure: moving to a new home. 

According to a press release, the beloved kids' attraction will call First Church of Christ, Scientist at 361 Central Park West and 96th St. its new home. After years of looking to expand its headquarters, CMOM finally made the decision thanks to assistance from its board of directors and several early visionary funders. 

With its new destination comes many exciting opportunities, which mainly focus on reaching as many NYC families as possible. Not only will the exhibition space triple in CMOM's new address, but the Museum will be able to accommodate double the art-lovers each year. 

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for an institution,” Matt Messinger, the Museum's Board co-chair, said in a statement. “Our new home on Central Park West will enable the Museum to expand its educational mission and reach twice the number of visitors.” 

The once-vacant church is about to get a makeover now that the design efforts are underway, and the Museum's board members are looking forward to restoring life into this NYC building. The updates promise to include galleries, studio work areas, a café and even convenient stroller storage and spaces for mothers to nurse their children. FXCollaborative will lead the architectural design and planning process, according to a press release from the venue. 

Though somewhat bittersweet, this move promises to be an exciting chapter for the organization. 

“For 28 years, the Archdiocese of New York City has been a gracious landlord. They have stood with us to make the lives of our City’s children better for which we are grateful,” said Andrew S. Ackerman, Executive Director, Children’s Museum of Manhattan. “Now we look forward to collaborating with our many constituents to create a much larger center for learning and discovery that reflects NYC’s diversity.” 

CMOM's new space is expected to open in late 2021. 

Looking for more NYC fun? Check out these indoor activities for kids, spend a day exploring these kids' attractions or snag tickets to one of these Broadway shows for kids

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