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The New York Historical Society is getting a $65M renovation

The Robert H. and Clarice Smith New York

The Robert H. and Clarice Smith New York Gallery Credit: The Robert H. and Clarice Smith New York Gallery

At 11 a.m. Friday, the New York Historical Society begins a new chapter in its 207-year history following a three-year $65 million renovation.

"We are going from being a beautiful treasure house to a great showplace of the American experience," said president and CEO Louise Mirrer.

The makeover includes an enhanced Central Park West entrance; a sweeping 3,400-square-foot space combining admissions, orientation and a permanent exhibition; a state-of-the-art theater; the only children's history museum and library in New York; and an upscale park-view restaurant run by an award-winning chef.
Here's a sneak peek:

New features
The Robert H. and Clarice Smith New York Gallery - This gallery houses a wall-sized motion-activated re-creation of the narrative painting "Pulling Down the Statue of George III" by J.A.S. Oertel.

Through the Lens of New York - Twelve digital columns with rotating slides feature items in the collection, including John James Audubon's watercolors.
New York Rising - A 19th-century-salon-style art installation enhanced with 21st-century touch-screen monitors.

Here Is New York - A selection of more than 6,000 photos taken by New Yorkers on Sept. 11, 2001.

New exhibits
Revolution: The Atlantic World Reborn - A look at the uprisings in America, France and Haiti with texts and audio guides.

Making American Taste: Narrative Art for a New Democracy - A mix of art and history showcasing 55 works from the society's collection.

Freedom Now: Photographs by Platon - A collection of photos by the British photographer depicting the struggle for civil rights in the U.S.

New restaurant
Stephen Starr, a Zagat Restaurateur of the Year who owns celeb magnets such as Buddakan, will run Caffe Storico, with James Beard Award finalist Jim Burke in the kitchen.

 


If you go: New-York Historical Society Museum & Library is located at 170 Central Park West, 212-873-3400. Go to nyhistory.org for tickets and hours.

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