New York City Museum
New York City Museum

Why You Must Visit The New York City Museum?

I love learning about the history of things, and whenever I visit a new city, I always make it a point to check out the local museums. When I was in Chicago, I visited the Field Museum. Even SkyDeck Chicago has a good history lesson before you get on the elevator.

So when I had the chance to visit New York City during my first international trip last year, the first place I knew I had to see was the New York City Museum. Most of us know very little about New York. And I was eager to learn more about the city beyond just the iconic Statue of Liberty and the bustling Times Square.

In this blog post, I’ll share my experience of visiting the New York City Museum and why you must have it on your New York itinerary too!

Colors of New York
Colors of New York

History Of The New York City Museum

The New York City Museum has a rich and storied history dating back over a century. It was originally founded in 1904 by a group of prominent local historians and philanthropists who wanted to establish an institution dedicated to preserving and sharing the unique story of New York City.

The museum first opened its doors in a small building on the Lower East Side, housing a modest collection of historical artefacts and documents. Today, the museum is housed in a stunning Beaux-Arts-style building on the Upper West Side, boasting an encyclopedic collection that spans centuries of New York history.

Apart from the artefacts, the museum tells about the history of New York City, what was it before and how it came into existence. The challenges the city faced, the way it survived them the World Trade Center attacks and the modern-day New York. It’s a walk from the past to the present.

New York City Museum
New York City Museum

New York City Museum – All You Need To Know

I knew I had to visit the museum, but wasn’t quite sure when. So I randomly hopped on a metro, walked down a few blocks and reached Central Park. And then I was like, if I’m here, let’s explore Central Park and the museum. Here’s all you need to know about visiting the New York City Museum.

  • Location: The New York City Museum is located on Museum Mile, the iconic stretch of 5th Avenue across from Central Park
  • How to Get There: The museum is easily accessible by subway – the closest stop is 86th Street on the 4/5/6 line. It’s also a short walk from the 72nd Street station on the B/C lines. Read more about the New York Subway.
  • Admission Prices:
    • Standard adult ticket: $20
    • Children (under 12) and seniors: $14
    • Members and people under the age of 20: FREE
    • The museum also offers a “Pay What You Like” option for visitors on a budget – I chose this option and paid $10.
  • Operating Hours:
    • Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, closed on Wednesdays and Tuesdays
  • Time Needed: Plan to spend 2-3 hours to thoroughly explore the museum’s vast collection spanning New York’s rich history and culture

To keep up with the latest information, check out the Museum of The City Of New York website.

400 Years Of History Through My Eyes

As someone visiting New York City for the first time, I was eager to dive deeper into the rich history and evolution of this iconic metropolis. Stepping into the New York City Museum, I was clear about what I wanted to spend the most time on – the history of the city. The museum houses more sections, but I spent most of them here hence this detailed experience.

17th Century (1600s-1700s)

The museum’s exhibit on New York’s 17th and 18th-century history provides fascinating insights into the city’s Dutch colonial roots. Artefacts and dioramas depict daily life in “New Amsterdam,” the small trading post established by the Dutch West India Company in 1624. One can learn about the fur trade, the construction of the original Wall Street, and pivotal events like the British takeover in 1664 that renamed the settlement New York.

New Amsterdam
New Amsterdam

18th-19th Century (1700s-1800s)

As the 18th and 19th centuries unfolded, New York emerged as a hub of commercial activity and immigration. The museum’s exhibits highlight the city’s role in the American Revolution, its transformation into a modern metropolis, and the waves of European newcomers that shaped its diverse culture.

19th-20th Century (1800s-1900s)

The museum’s 19th and 20th-century exhibits chronicle New York’s explosive growth into a global economic and cultural capital. You can explore the rise of industry, the building of iconic landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge, and the emergence of vibrant immigrant neighbourhoods. Multimedia displays also showcase how technological innovations like the subway system, skyscrapers, and the automobile forever altered the city’s landscape.

New York Over The Years
New York Over The Years

20th-21st Century (1900s-2000s)

In the final wing, the museum offers a comprehensive look at New York in the modern era. Exhibits cover the city’s role in the World Wars, the civil rights movement, the arts/culture renaissance, and the challenges of the post-industrial age.

And this by far is one of the best exhibits that I’ve seen for any city at a museum. While there was a lot more to see in the museum, a fire alarm went off. In India, people would have royally ignored it, but I was in the USA. It wasn’t a false alarm and people started heading to the exits. security started putting people out and I soon saw a fire truck as well! I didn’t see the fire or speak, but saw the scenes. And then I decided to leave as I had seen what I wanted to see.

One Of The Best City Musems I’ve Been To

In a span of close to 4 hours, I was able to navigate through the 400-year-old journey of New York City. It was fascinating to see how the city evolved, and the importance of the philanthropists who shaped the city’s landscape, rules and a lot of other things that we see around in New York today.

If you’re visiting New York City and love history, a visit to the New York City Museum is a must. The exhibits are quite interesting and they have a lot of temporary exhibits as well. Plus it’s located right next to Central Park, so once you’re done with the museum, head to the park or vice versa.

That’s about it for this blog post, let me know what do you think. Leave your thoughts, and comments in the section below, tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj, DM @Atulmaharaj on Instagram to Get In Touch.

About Atulmaharaj

A seasoned blogger and a content marketer for close to a decade now. I write about Food, Technology, Lifestyle, Travel, and Finance related posts. Blogging brings me joy and the best part is I get to read and e-meet so many amazing bloggers! PS: I'm also the founder for Socialmaharaj.com :) Favorite Quote: "Traveling is like reading a book, one who hasn't traveled, hasn't turned a page.

Check Also

Hyderabad to Coorg road trip in Tata Punch

Hyderabad To Coorg Road Trip – Your Ultimate Guide 2024

Hyderabad has been quite hot in the last few weeks; even staying indoors under air …

One comment

Share your thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.