clock menu more-arrow no yes
EQRoy / Shutterstock, Inc.

The Met, MoMA, and other NYC museums poised for expansion: map

See how 11 of New York City’s cultural institutions will change in the coming years

View as Map

As New York City’s museums deal with a massive influx of visitors, both from city dwellers and tourists, many of these cultural institutions also have to contend with a lack of space to accommodate the masses. To prepare for the increase in people, as well as the needs of 21st-century audiences, some of the city’s biggest museums are currently in the midst of major renovations.

Many have starchitect names attached: The Frick, for example, hired Annabelle Selldorf to lead its renovation last year; Jeanne Gang will do the same across town at the American Museum of Natural History. But it hasn’t been smooth sailing for all—the Metropolitan Museum of Art recently postponed its plans due to budgetary concerns.

Still, the next few years will be big ones for New York’s museums—and we’ve mapped out the various changes you can expect at institutions across the city. Did we miss any major ones? Let us know in the comments.

Read More

1. Metropolitan Museum of Art

Copy Link
1000 5th Ave
New York, NY
(212) 535-7710
Visit Website

In the spring of 2015, The Met announced plans for a $600 million expansion (to house its modern and contemporary art collections) to be designed by David Chipperfield. But by the following summer, reality had sunk in for the cash-strapped museum, and the plans were put on hold. The museum took a further beating earlier this year when it announced that the expansion won’t get underway for at least the next six years because of financial concerns. Instead, the Met will focus on replacing the aging skylights and roof above the European paintings gallery.

2. American Museum of Natural History

Copy Link
200 Central Park W
New York, NY
(212) 769-5100
Visit Website

The American Museum of Natural History’s ambitious $340 million expansion plan got the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s approval last October, and work is now ready to move forward on the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. The museum will have to demolish three buildings on the campus to make way for the Studio Gang and Davis Brody Bond-designed expansion. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing, however: The project initially did not have the backing of Upper West Side residents, though most came around eventually. This new wing, dedicated to its education and innovation programs, is set to open in 2020.

3. The Frick Collection

Copy Link
1 E 70th St
New York, NY
(212) 288-0700
Visit Website

After a fierce community backlash, the Frick Collection decided to nix plans to build a six-story addition on top of its landmark building, and instead chose a more subdued expansion. Last October, the museum chose Annabelle Selldorf to lead that effort, with the preservation experts at Beyer Blinder Belle signing on to the design team in March. The expansion will open the building’s second floor to the public for the first time, preserve its beloved garden, and create new gallery space, among other features. The design is set to be unveiled sometime later this year or early next year.

4. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Copy Link
11 W 53rd St
New York, NY
(212) 708-9400
Visit Website

After doing away with some of the more controversial elements of its initial expansion plan, the Museum of Modern Art decided to forge ahead with the project early last year. The Diller Scofidio + Renfro-designed expansion will be built in three phases. The first phase will see the “Bauhaus Stair” being replaced, and the opening of the east lobby. The gift shop and the main lobby will be revamped in the second phase, and the final phase will see new galleries rise on the grave of the beloved former American Folk Art Museum. Additionally, a new gallery will also be located in Jean Nouvel’s condo at 53 West 53rd Street.

5. The Hispanic Society Of America

Copy Link
613 W 155th St
New York, NY
(212) 926-2234
Visit Website

Last December, this beloved Washington Heights museum shuttered for what is scheduled to be a two-year renovation. Maria Romañach Architects have been hired to upgrade the building’s infrastructure, make it more accessible, and restore parts of the overall structure. This $15 million renovation, which has been made possible with contributions from the Parks Department, the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, and the City Council, will wrap up in the fall of 2019.

6. New-York Historical Society

Copy Link
170 Central Park W
New York, NY
(212) 873-3400
Visit Website

After three years of construction, the New York Historical Society recently debuted its Henry Luce III Center, including a new Center for Women’s History, on the fourth floor of the museum. It’s the first such space in the entire country, dedicated to exhibitions on women’s role in the history of the United States. The center features a 1,500-square-foot gallery for changing exhibitions, space for smaller exhibits, and a permanent, interactive exhibit called, “Women’s Voices.”

7. Studio Museum in Harlem

Copy Link
144 W 125th St
New York, NY
(212) 864-4500
Visit Website

After years of operating in a smaller space, Harlem’s Studio Museum is set to get a major upgrade courtesy of David Adjaye (who recently scored a home run with the design of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C.). He’s designed a new five-story home for the museum, which will rise on the site of its current space on West 125th Street. Despite some renovations at its current facility, the museum is so small that it has to shut down every time it preps for a new exhibit. The new $122 million building is being made possible from contributions by the city and the Ford Foundation, and construction is supposed to get underway sometime this year.

8. Swiss Institute of Contemporary Art

Copy Link
18 Wooster St
New York, NY
(212) 925-2035
Visit Website

The Swiss Institute too tapped Selldorf Architects to design its new space. In this case, it’s not so much an expansion or renovation as much as it is a relocation. The non-profit contemporary arts center will move to a space in the East Village that was once home to a Chase Bank. This new location will have “spaces for exhibitions, projects and public programs, a library, a bookstore, and a usable rooftop.”

9. The Tenement Museum

Copy Link
103 Orchard St
New York, NY
(212) 982-8420
Visit Website

In just a couple of months, the Tenement Museum will debut a new 10,000 square-foot facility above its gift shop at 103 Orchard Street. For years now the museum has had to contend with a growing number of visitors, often having to turn them away because of a lack of space. This new space will have a visitor’s center and classrooms, as well as recreate homes of past residents.

10. Brooklyn Historical Society DUMBO

Copy Link
55 Water St
Brooklyn, NY

The Brooklyn Historical Society will soon unveil a second location at Dumbo’s Empire Stores redevelopment. This new location also comes with a gift shop, and the inaugural show here focused on the photos of Brooklyn’s evolving waterfront over the decades. The century-old warehouse that is now Empire Stores welcomed its first tenant, West Elm, in August last year, and more tenants are due to follow suit.

11. Queens Museum

Copy Link
Great Lakes Court
Queens, NY
(718) 592-9700
Visit Website

Following its expansion in 2013, the Queens Museum is now getting ready to add a large library space to its existing facility in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, along with classrooms, workshop spaces, and an art storage facility. This part of the expansion will also be designed by Grimshaw Architects (the same firm that worked on the 2013 expansion). Once complete, the library facility will span 5,500 square feet, be located on the first floor of the museum, and function as a Queens Library branch. Construction on this phase of expansion is set to get underway sometime next year with a completion scheduled for 2020. This overall expansion will cost $15 million.

1. Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 5th Ave, New York, NY

In the spring of 2015, The Met announced plans for a $600 million expansion (to house its modern and contemporary art collections) to be designed by David Chipperfield. But by the following summer, reality had sunk in for the cash-strapped museum, and the plans were put on hold. The museum took a further beating earlier this year when it announced that the expansion won’t get underway for at least the next six years because of financial concerns. Instead, the Met will focus on replacing the aging skylights and roof above the European paintings gallery.

1000 5th Ave
New York, NY

2. American Museum of Natural History

200 Central Park W, New York, NY

The American Museum of Natural History’s ambitious $340 million expansion plan got the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s approval last October, and work is now ready to move forward on the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. The museum will have to demolish three buildings on the campus to make way for the Studio Gang and Davis Brody Bond-designed expansion. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing, however: The project initially did not have the backing of Upper West Side residents, though most came around eventually. This new wing, dedicated to its education and innovation programs, is set to open in 2020.

200 Central Park W
New York, NY

3. The Frick Collection

1 E 70th St, New York, NY

After a fierce community backlash, the Frick Collection decided to nix plans to build a six-story addition on top of its landmark building, and instead chose a more subdued expansion. Last October, the museum chose Annabelle Selldorf to lead that effort, with the preservation experts at Beyer Blinder Belle signing on to the design team in March. The expansion will open the building’s second floor to the public for the first time, preserve its beloved garden, and create new gallery space, among other features. The design is set to be unveiled sometime later this year or early next year.

1 E 70th St
New York, NY

4. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

11 W 53rd St, New York, NY

After doing away with some of the more controversial elements of its initial expansion plan, the Museum of Modern Art decided to forge ahead with the project early last year. The Diller Scofidio + Renfro-designed expansion will be built in three phases. The first phase will see the “Bauhaus Stair” being replaced, and the opening of the east lobby. The gift shop and the main lobby will be revamped in the second phase, and the final phase will see new galleries rise on the grave of the beloved former American Folk Art Museum. Additionally, a new gallery will also be located in Jean Nouvel’s condo at 53 West 53rd Street.

11 W 53rd St
New York, NY

5. The Hispanic Society Of America

613 W 155th St, New York, NY

Last December, this beloved Washington Heights museum shuttered for what is scheduled to be a two-year renovation. Maria Romañach Architects have been hired to upgrade the building’s infrastructure, make it more accessible, and restore parts of the overall structure. This $15 million renovation, which has been made possible with contributions from the Parks Department, the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, and the City Council, will wrap up in the fall of 2019.

613 W 155th St
New York, NY

6. New-York Historical Society

170 Central Park W, New York, NY

After three years of construction, the New York Historical Society recently debuted its Henry Luce III Center, including a new Center for Women’s History, on the fourth floor of the museum. It’s the first such space in the entire country, dedicated to exhibitions on women’s role in the history of the United States. The center features a 1,500-square-foot gallery for changing exhibitions, space for smaller exhibits, and a permanent, interactive exhibit called, “Women’s Voices.”

170 Central Park W
New York, NY

7. Studio Museum in Harlem

144 W 125th St, New York, NY

After years of operating in a smaller space, Harlem’s Studio Museum is set to get a major upgrade courtesy of David Adjaye (who recently scored a home run with the design of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C.). He’s designed a new five-story home for the museum, which will rise on the site of its current space on West 125th Street. Despite some renovations at its current facility, the museum is so small that it has to shut down every time it preps for a new exhibit. The new $122 million building is being made possible from contributions by the city and the Ford Foundation, and construction is supposed to get underway sometime this year.

144 W 125th St
New York, NY

8. Swiss Institute of Contemporary Art

18 Wooster St, New York, NY

The Swiss Institute too tapped Selldorf Architects to design its new space. In this case, it’s not so much an expansion or renovation as much as it is a relocation. The non-profit contemporary arts center will move to a space in the East Village that was once home to a Chase Bank. This new location will have “spaces for exhibitions, projects and public programs, a library, a bookstore, and a usable rooftop.”

18 Wooster St
New York, NY

9. The Tenement Museum

103 Orchard St, New York, NY

In just a couple of months, the Tenement Museum will debut a new 10,000 square-foot facility above its gift shop at 103 Orchard Street. For years now the museum has had to contend with a growing number of visitors, often having to turn them away because of a lack of space. This new space will have a visitor’s center and classrooms, as well as recreate homes of past residents.

103 Orchard St
New York, NY

10. Brooklyn Historical Society DUMBO

55 Water St, Brooklyn, NY

The Brooklyn Historical Society will soon unveil a second location at Dumbo’s Empire Stores redevelopment. This new location also comes with a gift shop, and the inaugural show here focused on the photos of Brooklyn’s evolving waterfront over the decades. The century-old warehouse that is now Empire Stores welcomed its first tenant, West Elm, in August last year, and more tenants are due to follow suit.

55 Water St
Brooklyn, NY

11. Queens Museum

Great Lakes Court, Queens, NY

Following its expansion in 2013, the Queens Museum is now getting ready to add a large library space to its existing facility in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, along with classrooms, workshop spaces, and an art storage facility. This part of the expansion will also be designed by Grimshaw Architects (the same firm that worked on the 2013 expansion). Once complete, the library facility will span 5,500 square feet, be located on the first floor of the museum, and function as a Queens Library branch. Construction on this phase of expansion is set to get underway sometime next year with a completion scheduled for 2020. This overall expansion will cost $15 million.

Great Lakes Court
Queens, NY