Museum of the City of NY

Location: 1220 5th Ave & 103rd St, New York, NY 10029

The Museum of the City of New York located at 5th Avenue and 103rd St. fosters understanding of the distinctive nature of urban life in the world’s most influential metropolis. It engages visitors by celebrating, documenting, and interpreting the city’s past, present, and future.

The Museum of New York's vivid programming and peek-into-the-past exhibitions are ideal for history lovers and, of course, fans of all things New York City. Photographs and relics capture the ambiance of past eras—from the buildings, apartments, parks and streets that make up NYC's urban landscape to the cultures, people, sights, sounds and styles that constitute its unmistakable identity. Check out the ongoing video installation Timescapes: A Multimedia Portrait of New York, a 22-minute journey through the history of the City. Visit to learn about the exhibitions currently on view and the entertainment offered at the space, including musical performances, film retrospectives, talks with historians and book launches.

The Museum holds approximately 750,000 objects in its collection including:

  • Prints & Photographs
  • Paintings & Sculpture
  • Theater Collection
  • Costume & Textiles
  • Manuscripts & Ephemera
  • Furniture & Decorative Arts
  • Archival Collections

New York Silver, Then and Now and Mid-20th Century Women’s Garments are their featured collections.

The Museum's collection is particularly strong in objects dating from the 19th and early 20th centuries – including over 3000 by Currier and Ives, and photographs featuring New York City and its residents, as well as costumes, decorative objects and furniture, antique toys– the museum was the first in the United States to establish a curatorial department for toys– ship models, rare books and manuscripts, marine and military collections, police and fire collections, and a theater collection which documents the golden age of Broadway theater.

The museum is known for its comprehensive collection of photographic images, which includes works by noted photographers Percy Byron, Jacob Riis and Berenice Abbott, as well as many Depression-era Federal Art Project photographs. The collection also includes still photography by film director Stanley Kubrick.

MCNY was also the longtime home to recreations of two furnished rooms from the house of John D. Rockefeller, donated by the Rockefeller family. In 2008, the Museum disposed of the rooms, donating one to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the other to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

While you're in the neighborhood: If you're in the mood to visit a restaurant whose menu features nearly every imaginable traditional Italian dish, simply walk north on Fifth Avenue until you reach Gran Piatto d'Oro. The typical flavors of El Barrio (East Harlem), though, are Latin ones—and they can be found throughout the area. Amor Cubano dishes up Cuban classics (say, ropa vieja) and a wide array of mojitos to go with regular live music events. The popular La Fonda, meanwhile, is home to as-authentic-as-it-gets Puerto Rican fare.

It’s so easy to get to the Museum of the City of New York! Just hop on our Uptown and Harlem tour and hop off at stop #24 directly in front of the Museum.


This page was edited by Steven Thomas