When you’re NYC’s oldest museum (founded in 1804), your attic gets mighty full. In past years that fourth-floor “attic” felt like a treasure hunt, its open storage units overflowing with telling artifacts from the museum’s holdings—a Tiffany lamp here, a pair of historic pistols there, the plaster model head created by sculptor Daniel Chester French for Washington’s Lincoln Memorial in another corner. Alas, the curators decided to tidy up, and in 2017 replaced the open storage with three not-so-successful permanent galleries. The first is a runway of sorts for Tiffany lamps, with too many similar ones on display (they’re pretty, but it is overkill). Next is a large room with themed glass cases of artifacts that illustrate—but don’t do enough to illuminate—different facets of New York City life through the ages (“Childhood,” “Fire,” and “Collecting” are three of these too-loosely-related exhibits). The third is a center for women’s history, which has created several yawner exhibits since its opening. On lower floors other permanent displays include paintings from the Hudson Valley School, and Audubon drawings, making the museum feel more dedicated to art than to history. Luckily, the powers-that-be had the wisdom to keep the superb 18-minute film that welcomes visitors to the museum. It is reason alone to come here, as are some, but not all, of the temporary exhibits—recent offerings have covered life far beyond the city, with one on how Title IX shaped sports in the USA, another showing how children’s books covered the Civil Rights movement, and a look at the life of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
New York City
New York City› Attraction
New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West (at 77th St.)
Our Rating Neighborhood Upper West Side Hours Wed–Sun 11am–5pm (Fri until 8pm) Transportation Subway: B, C to 81st St.; 1 to 79th St Phone 212/873-3400 Prices Admission $22 adults; $17 seniors, members of the military, and educators; $13 students; $6 children 7–13; free for children 6 and under; pay-what-you-wish Fri 6–8pm Web site New-York Historical Society
Map170 Central Park West New York City
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.