MCNY Blog: New York Stories

Iconic photos of a changing city, and commentary on our Collections & Exhibitions from the crew at

Affordable New York: Phipps Houses

The names of Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick are well known in New York City and beyond for Carnegie Hall and for the Frick Collection. Though the institutions built … Continue reading

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From Expressway to Contemplative Oasis: The Elevated West Side Highway

When racing in a cab down West Street trying to make it in time for a meeting, how many people think back just a few decades when an elevated expressway … Continue reading

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Affordable New York: Harlem River Houses

The Harlem River Houses complex, located along the Harlem River Drive between 151st and 153rd Streets, is a site full of firsts. It was the first public housing development in … Continue reading

November 10, 2015 · Leave a comment

Curator’s Notepad: Bonnie Yochelson on How the Other Half Lives

A tip from the guest curator of Jacob A. Riis: Revealing New York’s Other Half: Lean in. The greatest curatorial challenge we faced in creating the Riis exhibition was the … Continue reading

November 3, 2015 · Leave a comment

Affordable New York: Queensbridge Houses

At the beginning of 1934, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia founded the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). It was a moment of great need in the city, as its poorer residents … Continue reading

October 27, 2015 · Leave a comment

R.D Smith, the Bowery, 1970

The Bowery, like Broadway to its west, follows an original Lenape footpath spanning the island of Manhattan from south to north. In the Colonial era the area was filled with … Continue reading

October 20, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Sporting Life: A look at Harry T. Peters as huntsman

  Harry Twyford Peters was born in Greenwich, Connecticut in 1881, and entered the coal business after graduating from Columbia College in 1903. He worked at Williams and Peters, his … Continue reading

October 13, 2015 · 1 Comment

The New York City Marathon: The Great Race

The New York City Marathon began humbly in 1970, with 127 participants running laps around Park Drive in Central Park. On that day a total of only 55 runners crossed … Continue reading

October 6, 2015 · Leave a comment

Speedway Concourse and Transverse Road, AKA the Grand Concourse

In 1874 the disparate villages of Westchester County (Morrisania, Kingsbridge, et al.) were annexed to New York City and formed what we now know as the Bronx. At the time, … Continue reading

September 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

Affordable New York: Amalgamated Housing Cooperative

In 1926, when the tenements of the Lower East Side were overflowing and there was wide recognition of the unhealthy conditions created by such dense living, New York state enacted … Continue reading

September 22, 2015 · 7 Comments

The Crown Jewel of Brooklyn – Prospect Park

What is it I associate so keenly with the summer smell and sensual keenness of Prospect Park? – Alfred Kazin[1] The construction of Central Park prompted the city of Brooklyn … Continue reading

September 15, 2015 · Leave a comment

Can you hear me now?

Most of us hardly think about the technical logistics of communication these days.  With the touch of a few buttons we can send an email or text message, or pick … Continue reading

September 8, 2015 · Leave a comment

Hygienic whiskey and little nerve pills: The rise of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising

Before the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, the manufacture and sale of so-called “medicine” in the United States was unregulated. This wild west atmosphere enabled … Continue reading

August 25, 2015 · Leave a comment

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