The Skyscraper Museum, New York - The Traveller


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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Skyscraper Museum, New York


Skyscraper Museum – Architecture Museum

The Skyscraper Museum, located in Battery Park City, Manhattan, New York City is an architecture museum, founded in 1996. The museum tends to focus on high rise buildings as `products of technology, objects of design, as well as investments in real estate, sites of construction and place of work as well as residence. The museum also celebrated the architectural heritage of New York together with the forces and people who had created the skyline of New York.

The museum was a nomadic institution holding pop-up exhibitions in four temporary donated locations around Lower Manhattan since 1996, prior to moving to the present and permanent location in Battery Park City in 2004. The Skyscraper Museum is said to be founded and directed by a professor of architectural history and urban studies at Columbia University, Carol Willis.

 It comprises of two exhibition locations for permanent as well as temporary exhibitions, a mezzanine and a bookstore with its office situated above the bookstore. Reaching the museum can be done by a ramp starting in the basement. Original site of the museum was very close to the World Trade Centre and after the attacks on September 11; the museum had been compelled to close temporarily since its space had been seized as an emergency information centre.

Light Box Design – Entrance to the Museum

The museum had been reopened in March 2004, in its new permanent home at 39 Battery Park Place in the vicinity of Battery Park City towards the southern area of Manhattan. After the September 11 attacks, it was the first museum that was opened in Lower Manhattan occupying an area of 5,800 square foot on the ground floor of mixed use building, donated by the developer.

The new site had been designed by Roger Duffer of Skidmore, Owings Y Merrill, working pro bone. The architect had attempted to amplify the indoor height of the museum that was 10 foot which was done by using polished covers of stainless steel on the floors as well as the ceilings providing the impression of an infinite vertical space.

Besides the ultra-contemporary in design and the stainless steel floors and ceilings, it featured display cases which soared from the floor to the ceilings. A Light Box had been designed by artist James Turrell which served as the entrance to the museum.

Permanent/Temporary Exhibitions

Permanent exhibits at the museum comprise of `Manhattan Mini Models’ which is a display of two extremelydetailed hand carved minute wooden models of Downtown as well as Midtown Manhattan that had been donated by Mike Chesko, an amateur model maker from Arizona, to The Skyscraper Museum in 2008. Besides these, there were other exhibits of maps and photographs of Manhattan down the years, enabling visitors to path the extent of building in the city.

From time to time, temporary exhibits were also put up and the Skyscraper Museum also presented special programs for the audience, which included book talks, public art tours, videos and much more. Besides this, an on-site gift shop also provided prints, together with architectural books and some souvenirs too.

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