The Morgan Library & Museum | Experience a Stunning Display of Rare Books

by NYJ Team

Book lovers, prepare to be amazed. After walking through the Madison Avenue entrance of The Morgan Library & Museum, visitors will experience a stunning display of rare literary materials dating from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.

This New York City museum and research library features a treasure trove of original letters and manuscripts, many by beloved literary figures such as Jane Austen and Mark Twain. The Morgan collection of works is considered to be one of the most important collections of literary and historical manuscripts in the world, and is a must-see destination for those captivated by literature.

The Morgan Library & Museum

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A Financier’s Book Collection

In the early 1900’s, the Morgan Library was built to house the rapidly growing collection of books and manuscripts amassed by American financier John Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913.) One of the world’s richest men at the turn of the 20th century, J.P. Morgan was an avid book and art collector, and benefactor enriching the collections of many institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History. His private library included a stunning collection of historical and illuminated manuscripts, ancient master drawings and prints, and printed books with rare bindings.

A Private Library Becomes a City’s Treasure

Between 1902 and 1906, J.P. Morgan’s library was built beside his New York home at Madison Avenue and 36th Street. The three-room Italian-Renaissance inspired structure was designed by architect Charles McKim and is often referred to as his masterpiece, offering a majestic yet intimate and elegant environment. The library remained in private hands until 1924, when J.P. Morgan’s son, J.P. Morgan Jr. (1867-1943) fulfilled his father’s dream of sharing his incredible collection with the world and opened the library to the public. Today the museum consists of a complex of buildings which includes the original library.

Highlights of the Collection

There are only fifty copies remaining the world of the Gutenberg Bible, and The Morgan Library & Museum boasts three in its possession. Just some of the other remarkable holdings include an autographed manuscript of the Haffner Symphony by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and autographed journal entries by American author and abolitionist Henry David Thoreau.
From medieval illuminated manuscripts to rare first editions, visitors will marvel at the astonishing collection of works which includes the only surviving manuscript of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Charles Dickens’s manuscript of A Christmas Carol, and letters and manuscripts by major figures such as Jane Austen, John Keats, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Charlotte Brontë and John Steinbeck.

In addition to the many rare manuscripts in the Morgan’s holdings, the museum also showcases drawings and works by great artists such as Rubens, Degas and Leonardo da Vinci, early children’s books and rare printed music, as well as correspondence by post-World War II writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Jack Kerouac.

The Morgan also hosts visiting exhibitions from other museums to complement its world-class collections, and features an extensive selection of on-line exhibitions at the official Morgan Library & Museum website.

Programs and Education

The Morgan offers a busy calendar of events including lectures, readings and concert performances relating to the exhibitions currently being showcased. The institution also hosts an art-in-education program for youth that complements classroom studies. Current event schedules and an overview of the museum’s educational program are available at the Morgan’s website.

Dining and Shopping at the Morgan

There are two dining options at The Morgan Museum & Library. Casual dining is available at the Morgan Café, which offers light menus inspired by the museum’s exhibitions in a light-filled, airy glass-enclosed dining area of the museum.

The more formal Morgan Dining Room allows guests to brunch or lunch in the Morgan’s original family dining room, located in a 19th century restored brownstone.

The Morgan Shop sells many unique items including art reproductions, books and collectibles that reflect the museum’s collections.

Visiting The Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan is right in the heart of New York City, located at 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Midtown Manhattan.

Location: 225 Madison Avenue, New York City, New York
Phone: 212-685-0008
E-mail: visitorservices@themorgan.org

Click to visit The Morgan Library & Museum official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with official website.

South Street Seaport | Rich in History | Maritime Museum

by NYJ Team

Located at the very southern tip of Manhattan, South Street Seaport lets visitors relive New York City’s maritime past with a fascinating museum, restored 19th century buildings, and a varied collection of authentic sailing ships. The popular site also includes a modern tourist mall along the pier, featuring shopping, a variety of restaurants and popular nightspots.

South Street Seaport & Museum

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History of South Street Seaport

During the 19th century, South Street Seaport was a working pier from which the city’s fishermen would depart each morning and where they would return with the day’s catch each afternoon. At the time, most New Yorkers lived in the lower part of Manhattan and a market grew up around the docks. Eventually, it included a produce and grain market as well as many general merchants. By the end of the century, however, cargo ships had grown too large for the docks at South Street and the fishing fleet — and the market — moved up the Hudson River. The area languished for decades.

The South Street Seaport that we see today was the brainchild of New York philanthropists, Peter and Norma Stanford. The initial idea was to save a block of 19th century Federalist-style warehouses, known as the “Schermerhorn Row.” The plan was to create a living museum where residents and visitors could learn about life in 19th century New York. The area began modestly in 1967, then grew slowly. Pier 17 was added in 1983. The area now includes shopping, nightclubs, and an amusement pier with a variety of carnival rides. During the summer months, street entertainers — clowns, jugglers, mimes, and musicians — gather at the Seaport to perform for the crowd.

The Maritime Museum

The twelve-block South Street Seaport Museum is an open-air restored area, featuring cobblestone streets, authentic 19th century warehouses converted into shops, workshops, and restaurants, and costumed guides to tell the story of life at the Seaport. Adjacent to the warehouses are a host of striking sailing ships, permanently moored at the Seaport. In addition to shopping and dining venues, some of the warehouse buildings feature changing exhibits about the sea and the history of lower Manhattan. Admission to the museum is $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, and $6 for children between 2 and 17 years of age. Children under 2 are admitted free.

The Ships

Eight authentic 19th century ships grace the harbor at South Street Seaport. They range from the four-mast 377-foot long ”Peking” to the 112-foot lightship ”Ambrose” to the 52-foot 19th century tugboat, the ”W.O. Decker”. Visitors of all ages will delight in exploring these well-preserved relics of New York City’s seafaring past. South Street Seaport has the largest permanent collection (in tonnage) of historic ships of any site in the world.

Visiting South Street Seaport

South Street Seaport is a short walk from New York City’s financial district and is easily reached via taxi, subway, and bus from other parks of the city. South Street Seaport is open all year. Museum hours change during the season, but the facility is open late at least one day each week. In addition to the Tall ships and the Maritime Museum, visitors can tour the cobblestone streets and restored buildings as well as explore the shops and restaurants along Pier 17. Sightseeing cruises depart from the boardwalk at South Street Seaport for tours of New York Harbor and the East River. You can also enjoy a clear view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Seaport’s boardwalk.

Location: near New York City’s Financial District

Click here to visit South Street Seaport official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

Skyscraper Museum | Celebrating the Architectural History of NYC

by NYJ Team

The Skyscraper Museum was created to celebrate New York City’s architectural history and to examine the different influences that shaped one of the most impressive skylines in the world. Through a variety of ways, such as exhibitions and publications, the museum analyzes the role of the tall building in our everyday life, as well as objects of art and design.

The museum is a private, not-for-profit educational corporation that was founded in 1996. The main aim of the museum is to study the past, present and future of high rise buildings.

Skyscraper Museum

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History of the Museum

The Skyscraper Museum initially started off as a temporary exhibition that set up home for itself in four different places between the years 1997 and 2003. While its exhibition, “Design Development: Time Square” was being shown in 2001 at 110 Maiden Lane, the museum was forced to close its doors and move due to its proximity to the World Trade Center and the devastation of 9-11. The floor space of the Maiden Lane location was instead used as an emergency center following the tragedy.

In 2004, the museum was finally given a permanent home in Battery Park City, Lower Manhattan, in a building that is shared with others, including the Ritz Carlton Hotel and a 38-story condominium tower. The building’s developers, Millennium Partners, generously donated ownership of the space to the museum. The permanent museum was designed by the award-winning architectural firm, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM).

What’s to See at the Skyscraper Museum?

The very location of the museum – with a panoramic view of New York’s harbor, and the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop – immediately provides it with the atmosphere needed to truly celebrate a museum devoted to high risers and buildings.

Visitors enter the museum up a narrow ramp and find themselves in a well-lit space containing brightly lit vitrines. Because of the relatively small floor space assigned to the museum (around 5,800 square feet), the designer cleverly utilized special effects such as floors and ceilings sheathed in stainless steel to create an optical illusion of larger space.

The Skyscraper Museum includes two main exhibition halls. The first houses the museum’s core exhibit called “Skyscraper/City” which presents the evolution of New York’s commercial skyline. The second exhibition hall is home to a variety of changing shows throughout the museum’s calendar.

Since the museum moved to its permanent home, and has acquired show space, it has been able to start collecting artifacts related to the history of skyscrapers, and preserving them.

Changing Exhibitions and Programs

Since the world of architecture is forever growing and evolving, the Skyscraper Museum seeks to keep visitors abreast with the latest news and developments in the industry. Its exhibitions are always current and the museum will usually run an educational program alongside a popular exhibition to teach the public more about the topic.

An example would the “Burj Dubai” exhibition that provides fascinating information about the construction of what is due to be the tallest building in the world. The exhibition shows all the steps connected to the building of this masterpiece, from the ingenious engineering used, to the basic construction hiccups that come with trying to build a tower of at least 2,300 feet high, in the middle of the desert in temperatures that sometimes reach 120 degrees.

The museum also runs a series of lectures in conjunction with its popular exhibitions. These educational programs are usually free to members of the Skyscraper Museum and open – for a nominal fee – to the general public.

The museum also seeks to educate the public on current issues such as ‘green’ construction. It has run many popular programs in the past, including “Green Towers for New York: From Visionary to Vernacular” which focused on the development of ecologically friendly buildings which provide a high quality of life for its inhabitants, conserve energy and resources and are built with natural light as a top priority.

Family Programs

Despite its image as a very aesthetic and minimalist museum, the fact is that the Skyscraper Museum is very hands-on when it comes to children! The museum regularly runs workshops and activities where children can join in the fun of exploring the world of building and construction. Kids get to discover architecture at workshops run by real architects. Fun activities include constructing their own high rise creations using every day objects and building a giant house with brick blocks. All workshops are held at the museum itself, providing visual inspiration for any budding architects and engineers! Interested families should contact the museum to obtain a list of upcoming events.

The Gift Shop

No visit to the Skyscraper Museum would be complete without a stop off at its gift shop. The store offers a range of impressive books and publications on the world of architecture by noted authors, including the museum’s director, Carole Willis. A 10% discount on prices is available to museum members.

Also available in the store are posters from the museum’s exhibitions, as well as the general ware found in most gift shops such as t-shirts, caps and mugs. The store is open from Wednesday to Saturday, from 12.00 until 6 pm.

Visiting Skyscraper Museum NYC

The Skyscraper Museum is situated at 39 Battery Place, Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan. It is open from Wednesday to Sunday from noon until 6 pm. Guided tours are offered to groups during hours when the museum is not open to the general public. Students and seniors get a discounted price.

The museum itself is in close proximity to many of New York’s main tourist sites, including Ellis Island embarkation points, the Statue of Liberty and Broadway and is easily accessible by public transport.

The Skyscraper Museum is probably the only one of its kind in the world and therefore generates a lot of interest from people connected to the building industry, as well as the general public. The museum was created to celebrate the exciting world of high rise building and also with the idea of providing visitors with a unique experience, such as the feeling of standing forty stories in the air over a busy New York street. This is a definite must-see site when visiting New York!

Location: at 39 Battery Place, New York City, New York
Phone: 212-968-1961

Click here to visit Skyscraper Museum official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.