New York Historical Society

Officially known as NYC's first museum, New York Historical Society has an extensive collection of artefacts and printed materials relating to the city's history. Antique furniture, paintings, tapestries, toys, books and sculptures are displayed on multiple levels in an elegant mansion. A children's museum, library, multimedia centre and auditorium are also included in the New York Historical Society. From colonial times and the American Revolution to the Civil War and modern times, this museum covers all major eras that have shaped New York City.

History

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With origins going back to 1804, New York Historical Society is one of the oldest cultural entities of its kind in the United States of America. Businessman and philanthropist, John Pintard, was one of the key figures in establishing this cultural organisation. DeWitt Clinton, one of New York's most prominent politicians, was also enthusiastically involved in the museum's early days. The Government House in Lower Manhattan and City Hall Park served as some temporary homes for the institution. In 1902, the society officially relocated to an elegant property in the Upper West Side that was built in a traditional Roman style. This charming building was designed by York & Sawyer, which was a leading architectural firm in the United States at the time. After more than a century, the original building was renovated as part of a significant expansion effort. The renovation added a children's section, library and other space for educational and entertainment purposes.

Museum Layout

Tours at the New York Historical Society begin at Level One, which includes the Smith Gallery South, West Gallery and Great Hall. Showing films and other special presentations, the Robert H. Smith Auditorium also makes up the core of this floor. Level Two features Dexter Hall, Luman Reed Galleries and the Barbara Knowles Debs Education Center. Visitors are also encouraged to access exclusive materials at the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library and Barbara Knowles Debs Education Center. Level Four, also known as the HENRY LUCE III CENTER, consists of eight sections that include some of the museum's most prized treasures. The North Gallery, West Gallery and Gallery of Tiffany Lamps occupy most of the floor space on this level. As the names suggest, the Center for Women’s History and Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery shed some light on the role that females played in NYC and the nation. Visitors should be aware that there aren't any exhibits open to the public on the third level. Home to the DiMenna Children’s History Museum, the Lower Level has a kid-friendly design that's fun and educational. Youngsters are also encouraged to explore the Barbara K. Lipman Children’s History Library and multiple classrooms.

Eating and Shopping

Fine dining at the New York Historical Society may be enjoyed in the Storico Restaurant. Light fare and premium coffee are served at the Parliament Espresso and Coffee Bar. Additionally, you could shop for books, decorative items and souvenirs at the NYHistory Store. All of these venues are located on the museum's first floor.

Visiting New York Historical Society

Overlooking the famous Central Park West, the New York Historical Society is nested in the heart of Manhattan's Upper West Side neighbourhood. This museum is conveniently located within walking distance of the 81 Street-Museum of Natural History Station, which is served by the A, B and C lines of the NYC subway system. Several Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) buses also make stops at various points along the western flank of Central Park. Even though the museum is located in a primarily affluent and quiet residential neighbourhood, parking isn't readily available for visitors. Nevertheless, it should be easy for taxis or other drivers to quickly drop off and pick up passengers along 77th Street, 76th Street and other roads that branch off Central Park West.

Location: 170 Central Park West between 76th & 77th Streets, New York City, NY, 10024

Click here to visit New York Historical Society official website

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