Although it’s tempting to think of the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY) as being essentially the same as the much-older New-York Historical Society, that’s really not the case. True, both institutions distinguish themselves from most of New York City’s other museums by focusing on Gotham’s history. But the Historical Society explores the city’s past through the lens of American history and also has a collection of landscapes, portraits and other paintings by major 18th- and 19th-century American artists that wouldn’t look out of place at, say, The Metropolitan Museum or one of NYC’s other art museums. MCNY, on the other hand, takes a more sociological approach to local history, with exhibitions that chronicle the glories of New York’s legendary baseball teams, for instance, or the significant role that social activism played in shaping the city. Founded in 1923, MCNY was originally located in Gracie Mansion before the latter became NYC’s official mayoral residence. In 1932, the museum relocated to a new purpose-built home designed in the Neo-Georgian style by architect Joseph H. Freedlander. In 2000, MCNY become something of a political football when Mayor Rudy Giuliani announced that it would be moving into more spacious quarters at the former Tweed Courthouse in Lower Manhattan. The plan, however, was overruled by the incoming administration of Michael Bloomberg (a decision that precipitated the resignation of MCNY’s director at the time). Nonetheless, the museum still makes good use of its building (which was landmarked in 1967) with special exhibitions and permanent displays drawn from a collection of over 1.5 million items—a cache that includes historical photos, costumes, decorative objects and furniture, antique toys and much much more. MCNY, in other words, continues to do what it does best: Allowing New Yorkers and other visitors an opportunity to experience the city’s past and its continuing connection to the present.
Where is the Museum of the City of New York in NYC? MCNY is located at 1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd St
When can I visit the Museum of the City of New York in NYC?
MCNY is open daily, 10am–6pm
How do I get tickets to the Museum of the City of New York in NYC?
Tickets can be purchased online at the MCNY website or at the entrance
What’s the best way to get to the Museum of the City of New York in NYC?
Take the 6 to 103rd Street
See a map of the Museum of the City of New York in NYC