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New York Museums
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New York Museums
  New York Travel Tip

Museums and Culture

Already home to so many of the world's top cultural attractions, New York City opens its arms to new facilities and renovations.

Adding to the excitement of Times Square is the Madame Tussaud's New York (234 West 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, 212/921-0768; www.madame-tussauds.com) opened November, 2000. A guaranteed method for spotting celebrities, this new $50 million attraction features an extraordinary collection of nearly 200 amazingly lifelike wax figures. An additional attraction at Madame Tussaud's is "It Happened in New York," an immersive experience that takes visitors on a magical midnight journey in a virtual horse-drawn Hansom cab.

The Museum of Modern Art (11 W. 53rd St. between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, 212/708-9480; www.moma.com) has undertaken an extensive expansion which will double its current exhibit space with larger, more flexible skylight-enhanced galleries for its permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. Other highlights will include an extensive education and research complex, an entrance specifically devoted to school groups and tours and an additional theater. The $650 million expansion, already begun, is expected to be completed in 2004 or 2005. Meanwhile, in June 2002 the museum will open a temporary exhibition space in a former Swingline factory in Long Island City, Queens, quickly becoming an arts hub.

Bringing New York's past out of storage, the Henry Luce II Center for the Study of American Culture at the New-York Historical Society (Two West 77th Street at Central Park West, 212/873-3400;www.nyhistory.org) showcases more than 40,000 items from the institution's massive holdings of fine and decorative arts - much of which has been hidden away in storage facilities for the past ten years. Opened in November 2000 the collection spans 200 years of paintings, sculpture, furniture, tools for home and trade, Tiffany lamps, textiles, metals, ceramics and glass.

In a nod to both its past and its future, Carnegie Hall (881 Seventh Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets, 212/903-9750; www.carnegiehall.org) has announced plans to re-establish the building's former lower-level recital hall while creating additional education space for institutional programs. The return of the space in 2002 will restore Carnegie Hall to its original performance capacity with three halls - including the 2,804 seat Carnegie Hall and the 268-seat Weill Recital hall - in service to music. In addition, the space will be able to accommodate the latest audio-visual systems and communications technology for recording and transmitting events.

Construction has begun on an expansion that will more than triple the exhibition and meeting space at the Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust (18 First Place between West Street & Battery Place, 212/509-6130, www.mjhnyc.org). Slated for completion in 2003, expanding after only three years of operation, the new four-story, 70,000-square-foot east wing will contain classrooms, a theater, galleries and a Family History Center exhibiting testimony from Holocaust survivors.

The Museum of American Folk Art (2 Lincoln Square, Columbus Avenue at 66th Street, 212/977-7170; www.folkartmuseum.org) is building an all new $18 million structure encompassing a 30,000-square-foot exhibit space featuring enhanced facilities and four times the existing exhibition space. The new structure will fulfill the Museum's long-term goal of establishing a permanent home. Ground breaking took place in October of 1999 and the building is scheduled to be completed by late fall of 2001.

In fall 2001, The Skyscraper Museum (212/968-1961) will open its permanent home in Battery Park City. The museum will be housed in a new 35-story tower that will be the new Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The Skyscraper Museum celebrates the city's rich architectural heritage and examines the historical forces and individuals that have shaped its successive skylines.

A museum, a school and a center for photographers and photography, the International Center for Photography (ICP) (1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street, 212/860-1777; www.icp.org ) opened its new facility in midtown in October 2000. ICP's mission is to present photography's vital and central place in contemporary culture and to lead in interpretation issues central to its development.

The Guggenheim Foundation has received city commitment to build a major new waterfront museum on the East River in lower Manhattan. The Frank Gehry-Designed Project will create dramatic architectural landmark on Piers 9, 11, 13, and 14, near the South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan. The new museum is expected to create over 2500 jobs, attract 2-3 million visitors per year and generate an additional $280 million in annual economic activity.

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