Skyscraper Museum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Skyscraper Museum interior view
World Trade Center architectural model on exhibit at the museum

The Skyscraper Museum is an architecture museum located in Battery Park City, Manhattan, New York City and founded in 1996.[1] As the name suggests, the museum focuses on high-rise buildings as "products of technology, objects of design, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence." Before moving to the current and permanent location in Battery Park City in 2004, the museum was a nomadic institution, holding pop-up exhibitions in donated spaces around Lower Manhattan since 1996.

The Skyscraper Museum was founded and is directed by Carol Willis, a professor of architectural history and urban studies at Columbia University.[2]

Move after September 11, 2001[edit]

The original site of the museum was located very close to the World Trade Center. After the September 11 attacks, the museum was forced to close temporarily as its space was commandeered as an emergency information center.[3]

In March 2004, the museum reopened in its new permanent home in the neighbourhood of Battery Park City at the southern tip of Manhattan. The new site was designed by Roger Duffy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, working pro bono.[2] The museum features stainless steel floors and exhibition areas meant to give the feeling of standing 40 stories in the air over a Manhattan street.

Selected exhibitions[edit]

On September 6, 2006, the museum opened an exhibit on the construction and history of the World Trade Center. The exhibit includes the original architectural/engineering model of the World Trade Center.[4]

On June 24, 2009, the museum opened China Prophecy: Shanghai, a multi-media exhibition that examines Shanghai's evolving identity as a skyscraper metropolis. Featuring models of the major iconic structures, including Jin Mao, Tomorrow Square, Shanghai World Financial Center, and the new super-tall Shanghai Tower, as well as computer animations, film, drawings, and historic and contemporary photography of the city, the exhibition combines an in-depth look at the new generation of towers with an overview of the sweeping transformation of the city’s traditional low-rise landscape into a city of towers.

In 2011, the Skyscraper Museum opened a new exhibit called "Supertall!" dedicated to the tallest buildings in the world, those that stand at least 381 metres (1,250 ft), the height of the Empire State Building. The exhibit features qualifying buildings built since 2001 to those that will be built by 2016 as a commemoration of and to demonstrate the irony of the recent popularity of the skyscraper in many countries, despite sentiment that after 9/11 there would be no more desire to live or work in or to build skyscrapers.[5]

Besides in-house exhibitions, the museum also sponsors external shows and programs at various locations in the city. Additionally, the museum offers a unique virtual gallery through its website, which is an advanced 3-D archive of Manhattan skyscrapers.

See also[edit]

Additional reading[edit]


  1. ^ Iovine, Julie V. (May 5, 1997). "A Natural for New York: A Skyscraper Museum". New York Times. Retrieved October 15, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Iovine, Julie V. (February 29, 2004). "A Tiny Museum Achieves Its Towering Ambition". New York Times. Retrieved October 15, 2009. 
  3. ^ Iovine, Julie V. (September 27, 2001). "Designers Look Beyond Debris". New York Times. Retrieved October 15, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Museum exhibit traces history of World Trade Center's twin towers". International Herald Tribune. Associated Press. September 4, 2006. 
  5. ^ Gardner, James (16 August 2011). "Heights of Fancy". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°42′20″N 74°1′3″W / 40.70556°N 74.01750°W / 40.70556; -74.01750