museum 2

Part 2 of a two-part series of New York City’s most beautiful museums, here is a look at a few places you might want to visit if you love exploring architecture.

Rubin Museum of Art

Once a Barneys store, the Rubin Museum’s Chelsea headquarters boasts a spiral staircase designed by Andree Putman that winds through the center of the building. Home to an impressive collection of art from the Himalayas, the buildings includes some new features that pay homage to its mission. These include a main entrance on 17th Street shaped like a Mandala that is meant to represent a gateway to Himalayan art.

Solomon R Guggenheim Museum

Arguably one of the best-known works of Frank Lloyd Wright, the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum was first conceived in 1943. Nonetheless, it did not open until 1959, which was a few months after Wright’s death. With its inverted ziggaraut design that was meant to lead visitors to the top before encouraging them to slowly work their way down along a winding pathway, the building remains a modernist masterpiece.

Museum of Arts & Design (MAD)

While the refurbishment of the building led to a great deal of controversy, this Edward Durrell Stone original was once referred to as “the lollipop building.” The building has since been revamped by Allied Works Architecture, leading to the loss of the lollipops and the addition of a glass skin that almost seems to spell out the word “HI.”

The Met Breuer

The former home to the Whitney, the Met Breuer Museum was named after modernist architect Marcel Breuer. Designed as a granite-covered counterpart to the surrounding buildings, the museum underwent a restoration by Beyer Blinder Belle in the 1960s. The building was later reopened in 2016 to positive reviews. 

The Morgan Library & Museum

Offering a mixture of old and new, The Morgan Library & Museum is a turn-of-the-20th-century brownstone-turned-annex building designed by McKim Mead & White. Features include a stunning library and a contemporary Renzo Piano addition that serves as a bridge between the two older buildings on the campus. Thanks to the thoughtfully designed interiors, the three buildings seamlessly connect to create one beautiful setting.

Bronx Museum of the Arts

Designed with the help of a number of different architects, the Bronx Museum of the Arts is considered to be one of the borough’s premier cultural institutions. Features include a folded aluminum entryway designed by Miami-based firm Arquitectonica and a façade that opened in 2006 as part of a larger expansion project.

Brooklyn Museum

The biggest museum in the borough, Brooklyn Museum predates its Manhattan counterpart, the Met. Designed by McKim, Mead & White, who also designed the Met, the building was originally planned as part of a larger campus that was to be included in the nearby Botanic Garden. While this plan never came to fruition, the museum still stands out as a beautiful Beaux Arts structure. The building’s Eastern Parkway entrance received a modern upgrade by Brooklyn firm SITU Studio in 2015, thereby making it more useful to patrons while also providing additional seating.

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