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The Skyscraper Museum

39 Battery Place
New York, NY

Phone: 212.945.6324 - TTY:

Statement of Purpose:

The Skyscraper Museum is devoted to the study of high-rise building, past, present, and future. Located in New York City, the world’s first and foremost vertical metropolis, the Museum celebrates the city’s rich architectural heritage and examines the historical forces and individuals that have shaped its successive skylines. Through exhibitions, programs, and publications, the Museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence.


The Skyscraper Museum opened its permanent home in the 38-story Ritz-Carlton Hotel at the southern tip of Battery Park City. With the skyline of lower Manhattan as its immediate backdrop and the panorama of New York Harbor at its front door, the Museum enjoys a site of breath-taking beauty and an unmatched location for cultural tourism.

The Skyscraper Museum presents exhibitions that interpret skyscraper history, encompassing the development, design, construction, operation, and occupation of tall buildings. Installations include a wide array of historic materials including architectural and engineering models, maps, blueprints, drawings, photographs, film, rental brochures, construction records, real estate surveys, postcards, and 3-D computer models of Manhattan.


The Museum collections include thousands of documents related to the development of the New York City skyline. These include photographs, blueprints, drawings, postcards, letters, and financial statements for prominent buildings such as the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center, as well as for lesser-known buildings like the Banker’s Trust building.


2008/2009 Calendar of Events:

New York Modern
October 24, 2007 – April 2008
Centering on New York as the paradigm of the modern skyscraper city, the first exhibition analyzes the predictions of the early 20th century in the work of leading architects and planners such as Hugh Ferriss, Raymond Hood, Harvey Wiley Corbett, and the Regional Plan Association, as well as science fiction imagery and futuristic films. Their schemes for monumental setback skyscrapers, elevated highways, and densely developed pedestrian precincts, such as the contemporary Rockefeller Center, demonstrate the optimistic urban dreams of the city’s first generation of skyscraper visionaries from the turn of the century into the 1930s.

Vertical Cities: Hong Kong | New York
April – September 2008
Hong Kong, Asia’s Manhattan, is today an island of skyscrapers. Born of its deep-water harbor and constrained by its limited land and steep hillsides, the city expanded upward beginning in the 1970s, even surpassing the number of high-rises in New York in recent years. Driven by similar forces, the vertical development of Hong Kong and New York is compared in this exhibition through photography, film, architectural studies, and an analysis of the demographics and densities of the world’s most dramatic skyscraper societies.

China Prophecy
October 2008 – February 2009
Future City 20 | 21 culminates in a close look at Shanghai, as a model for 21st century urbanism. Using architectural photography of recent towers, architectural drawings of existing and proposed towers and computer animations, documenting both the recent high-rise developments and future plans for the next generation of Shanghai’s development, this installation will lead to an inquiry into the economics, laws, and culture shaping the present-day Chinese metropolises.


Wednesday through Sunday, 12 Noon to 6 PM


Admission Price is $5 for adults; $2.50 for students, seniors; Free for corporate and museum members, for children under 12.


The Skyscraper Museum is located at 39 Battery Place in lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City.

SUBWAY: Take the 4 or 5 (Green Line) to Bowling Green. Walk west, toward the Hudson River, along the park-side of Battery Park. Follow the street around the bend and you'll come to the Museum's entrance, directly across the street from the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

SUBWAY: Take the 1 (Red Line) or the R/W (Yellow Line) to South Ferry (Whitehall Street). From the Ferry you can walk alongside Battery Park (on the park-side) directly to the Museum. When you see the Museum of Jewish Heritage, we're right across the street. Although it's a bit more difficult, you can also get off either line at the Rector Street station and follow the directions below.

SUBWAY: Take the 1 or R/W to Rector Street. Take Rector Street west (downhill) until you get to the West Side Highway. Here, make a left, and walk another block, crossing the intersection at the light for the Parking Garage and Tunnel Exit. Immediately after crossing this intersection, cross the Highway at the light. This will take you into Battery Park City, where the first north/south street will be Battery Place. You'll want to take a left (walk south) on Battery Place, and walk three blocks or so to the Museum's entrance, at 39 Battery Place, across the street from the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

BUS: The M9 and M20 Buses both stop yards from the Museum's doorstep. The M9 runs through the Lower East Side, down Water Street and around the base of the island to Battery Park City. The second stop in Battery Park City is the closest to the Museum (The bus passes the Museum and stops on the far corner, in front of a construction site) The M20 is the 7th Avenue bus, which will stop in front of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, directly across the street from the Museum. The M15 (2nd avenue) bus will take you to South Ferry (Whitehall street), at which point you can follow the South Ferry instructions, above.


Key Personnel:

Carol Willis, Founder and Curator
Jennifer Brenneman, Education Consultant

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