Home Museum institution The American LGBTQ + museum moves into the New-York Historical Society

The American LGBTQ + museum moves into the New-York Historical Society


While Pride 2021 is over, celebrating LGBTQ + history remains crucial, as do the community’s struggles for equal rights before the law and diverse cultural recognition. In support of these goals, the New-York Historical Society (N-YHS) announced plans for a 70,000 square foot extension of its building on Central Park West, adding program space that will include a permanent home for the American LGBTQ + Museum.

This will be New York’s first museum dedicated to LGBTQ + history and culture. Its goal includes the intention to illuminate LGBTQ + history as an integral part of human history and to preserve the artifacts, personal stories and intangible heritage that are lost every day. The institution also aims to educate communities on the evolving, complex and sometimes internally controversial narratives of LGBTQ + history; providing a physical space for LGBTQ + people that promotes individual dignity and unifies across generations and differences; and supporting a new generation of activists to advance social change. A planning task force was formed in 2017 to develop plans for the museum – efforts now coming to fruition at the N-YHS.

Cross-section of the New-York Historical Society expansion project (image by Robert AM Stern Architects)

The design of the new wing is by Robert AM Stern Architects and has been unanimously approved by the Commission for the Preservation of Monuments for “its respect for the past and the solicitation of the contribution of the community”. The expansion will provide the N-YHS with additional classrooms, galleries, collections study areas and a state-of-the-art compact storage facility for the institution’s existing Patricia D. Klingenstein library.

Render of the New-York Historical Society expansion project, seen from West 76th Street (Image by Alden Studios for Robert AM Stern Architects)

In 1937, administrators of the N-YHS purchased land adjacent to its Upper West Side building, “knowing that our growing collections and evolving programs for academics, students, educators and the public would one day need space to spread out, ”said Dr Louise. Mirrer, President and CEO of N-YHS.

“Now that day has arrived – and how gratifying it is to fulfill the dream of telling American history in all its complexity in cutting-edge educational spaces and a brand new gallery dedicated to the struggle for the civil rights of the American community. LGBTQ +, ”she added.