The ever-changing skyline of New York City has influenced architects and city planners the world over with the technological innovations and artistic trends that have evolved over the years since the very first skyscrapers were erected. The Skyscraper Museum was formed to honor the architectural heritage of New York and to educate the public on how industry, government, and the artistic community come together to create stunning skylines.
The Skyscraper Museum was founded in 1996, and its original location was near the World Trade Center, but after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the museum had to change locations, as its site in Lower Manhattan was commandeered for use as an emergency information center. In 2004, the Skyscraper Museum reopened in its current location in Battery Park City. It was the very first museum to reopen in New York City after 9/11, making it a most fitting tribute to the legacy of the skyscraper after the devastating loss of the Twin Towers.
The museum contains two main galleries: One is devoted to the core exhibit, which chronicles the evolution of New York’s skyline, while the other is reserved for rotating exhibits that highlight skyscrapers elsewhere in the United States and around the world. The most stunning feature of the Skyscraper Museum is the space it occupies. The museum is located in a 5,800-square-foot (540 square meter) space on the ground floor of a mixed-use building. The indoor height is only 10 feet, but due to the work of renowned architect Roger Duffy, the space seems much larger.
Working pro bono, Duffy utilized polished covers of stainless steel on the ceilings and floor to create an illusion of a vertical space that is infinite. Thus, the inside of the museum mimics the grandeur and beauty that is associated with the most dazzling of skyscrapers.
Know Before You Go
The Skyscraper Museum is open Thursday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. In order to manage capacity timed ticketing is in place. Last entry is at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door and online.
Public transportation is available at the Bowling Green, Rector Street, Whitehall, South Ferry, and Broad Street stations. The Skyscraper Museum is a short walk to the Ellis Island Ferry/Statue of Liberty ferry terminal.