MCNY Blog: New York Stories

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

Category Archives: Photography Collection

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

November 24, 2015 · Leave a comment

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

November 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

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

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

Celestial Sphere, Color Movies, Gardens on Parade!

Help the Museum digitize its 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair Collection! The Museum’s New York World’s Fair collections continue to be a major resource for researchers all over the globe, … Continue reading

August 11, 2015 · 3 Comments

Studio 54: Behind the velvet rope

Studio 54 opened on April 26, 1977, at 254 West 54th Street. The space initially served as a home to the Gallo Opera House (pictured to the left), which opened … Continue reading

June 16, 2015 · 1 Comment

Company Songs

While cataloging ephemera under the National Endowment for Humanities grant, I couldn’t help but notice how many companies, clubs, societies, and associations had songs written and printed for special occasions. … Continue reading

June 2, 2015 · 2 Comments

Banjos, Mandolins, Cats, and Dogs

In the 1950s and 1960s, Sunday afternoons were spirited times in Washington Square Park.  For several hours folk singers, accompanied by enthusiasts, performed in the public space.  In a convivial … Continue reading

May 19, 2015 · 5 Comments

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