New York Historical Society

The New York Historical Society is dedicated to presenting exhibitions and public programs, and fostering research that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, it is the city's oldest museum and houses an excellent research library.

In 2005, the society sponsored an exhibit on the life of Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804). While well promoted, most notably by a wrapper on the front of the building, and displaying numerous important artifacts, the exhibit was surprisingly unsatisfying. Perhaps in an attempt to be fair, the exhibit failed to delineate the complex facets of this controversial figure in American history, thereby neutering any ability to feel any passion for or against him.

I managed to snap a few photos of the exhibit (in full view of a number of guards) before an overzealous museum employee turned my simple task of documentation into an act of civil disobedience.

In the late 20th and early 21st century the NY Historical Society has had chronic funding issues, largely related to lackluster public programs and the concominant lack of support by the city. In the fall of 2006 they announced a plan to shore up their finances and contribute to the overbuilding of the Upper West Side by developing an unused plot of land behind the museum with a hideous 280-foot glass curtain-wall tower that is completely incongrous with the classic limestone towers on Central Park West. To avoid the community opposition that derailed a similar plan in the late 1980s, the development process was conducted largely behind closed-doors, but as of 2016 had not been successful. I took these photos of the lot in February of 2007 as a record of what was there. (reference)

01/09/2005 14:12:23
New York Historical Society
01/09/2005 14:13:07
New York Historical Society
01/09/2005 14:14:25
New York Historical Society
01/09/2005 14:38:48
New York Historical Society
01/09/2005 14:39:06
Thomas Jefferson
01/09/2005 14:39:20
Aaron Burr
01/09/2005 14:39:42
Alexander Hamilton
01/09/2005 14:39:57
George Washington
01/09/2005 14:50:11
New York Historical Society
01/09/2005 14:50:27
Slave Shackles
01/09/2005 15:07:39
Children's Slave Shackles
01/09/2005 15:10:02
New York Historical Society
01/09/2005 15:30:30
New York Historical Society
01/09/2005 15:30:45
New York Historical Society
01/09/2005 16:30:05
New York Historical Society
03/04/2005 13:10:56
New York Historical Society
03/04/2005 13:11:32
New York Historical Society
01/23/2009 13:38:33
New York Historical Society
07/01/2009 13:59:02
New York Historical Society
02/05/2010 17:08:57
New York Historical Society
02/05/2010 17:09:26
New York Historical Society
02/01/2007 13:45:08
Lot for redevelopment
02/01/2007 13:45:25
Lot for redevelopment
02/01/2007 13:45:48
Lot for redevelopment
02/01/2007 13:46:04
Lot for redevelopment
02/01/2007 13:46:14
Lot for redevelopment
02/01/2007 13:46:28
Lot for redevelopment

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