Tag: nyc museums

Lighthouse Park Roosevelt Island, 900 Main Street New York, NY 10044

Lighthouse Park Roosevelt Island, 900 Main Street New York, NY 10044

Lighthouse Park

Roosevelt Island

900 Main Street

New York, NY  10044

(212) 832-4540

Open 7:00am-9:00pm

The Roosevelt Island Lighthouse is a stone lighthouse built by New York City in 1872. It is at the northeast tip of Roosevelt Island in the East River in Lighthouse Park. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places on March 16th, 1972 and was designated a New York City Landmark on March 23rd, 1976. (Wiki)

Blackwell Island, which was called Welfare Island from 1921 to 1973 and is now known as Roosevelt Island was purchased by New York City in 1828. Various facilities on the island were built including a penitentiary, almshouse, city hospital, the New York Lunatic Asylum and the Smallpox Hospital (some of these buildings still exist).

In 1872, the City of New York built a lighthouse. The supervising architect was James Renwick Jr., who also designed several other buildings on the island for the Charities and Correction Board as well as more famous works such has St. Patrick’s Cathedral. (Wiki)

Legends abound about the construction of the lighthouse. Two names, John McCarthy and Thomas Maxey, are associated with the various legends. The 1870 report of the warden of the lunatic asylum that an industrious patient had build a seawall near the asylum that had reclaimed the land. The legends indicate that he had incorporated Civil War cannons. The legend indicates that the builder was bribed with bogus money to demolish the fort for the construction of the lighthouse. For many years, a saying was inscribed on a stone near the lighthouse:

This is the work

Was done by

John McCarthy

Who built the Light

House from the bottom to the

Top All ye who do pass by may

Pray for his soul when he dies.

The lighthouse was operated by the City instead of the U.S. Lighthouse Board. In its 1893 annual report, the Lighthouse Board generally praised the operations of Blackwell Island Lighthouse but indicated that the Board has unfairly criticized because of the City’s occasional failure to keep the light in operation. The Board advocated banning private lights. The 1917 U.S. Coast Pilot indicated that there was a private light at the north end of the island. (Wiki)

The light was operated until about 1940. In the 1970’s, the lighthouse was partially restored. The restoration was completed in 1998. (Wiki)

The lighthouse is approximately 50 feet (15m) tall. It is constructed of gray gneiss, rough ashlar that was quarried on the island by inmates from the penitentiary. It has an octagonal base and an octagonal shaft. There is an entrance on the south side under a projecting gable and a pointed Gothic arch. Two south-facing slit windows in the shaft light the interior. At the top of the shaft there is a band of ornamented corbels below the gallery, which is surrounded by an iron railing. The lantern is octagonal with a shallow conical roof. An 1893 photograph and a 1903 movie show that it probably had a much taller, steeper conical cap when it was built. The optics were provided by the U.S. Lighthouse Board. (Wiki)

Lighthouse Park is located on the northernmost section of Roosevelt Island and can be seen from Carl Schurz Park. On a beautiful sunny day, it is a very picturesque view from the park.

Disclaimer: this information was taken from Wikipedia site and the Roosevelt Island Historical Society. This little ‘gem’ of a park can be seen by walking to the most northern part of Roosevelt Island by way of the Main Street which runs through the island.

Advertisements
Cleopatra’s Needle Central Park @ East 81st Street New York, NY 10028

Cleopatra’s Needle Central Park @ East 81st Street New York, NY 10028

Cleopatra’s Needle

Central Park at East 81st Street (behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

New York, NY  10028

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d1959031-Reviews-Cleopatra_s_Needle-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

Cleopatra’s Needle (obelisk) was erected in Central Park, just west of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on February 22, 1881. It was secured in May 1877 by Judge Elbert E. Farnam, the then United State Consul General of Cairo as a gift from the Khedive for the United States remaining friendly neutral as the European powers, France and Britain, maneuvered to secure political control of the Egyptian government.

The obelisk is a twin of the obelisk given to London at the same time and come from the ancient city of Alexandria. The name is a misnomer as they have no relationship with the Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and were already over a thousand years old in her lifetime.

The obelisk is free to the public and can be seen by taking the path behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is open all day.

The Big Duck 1012 Flanders Road Flanders, New York 11901

The Big Duck 1012 Flanders Road Flanders, New York 11901

The Big Duck

1012 Flanders Road

Flanders, New York  11901

(631)852-3377

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g754554-d3292234-Reviews-The_Big_Duck-Flanders_Long_Island_New_York.html?m=19905

The History of the Big Duck

IN 1931, Riverhead duck farmer, Martin Maurer and his wife, Jeule, decided to construct a giant duck-shaped poultry shop. They hoped to sell the Pekin ducks they raised to passing motorists, who would surely be drawn to the striking form of the ‘big duck’ along Riverhead’s West Main Street. The Maurers envisioned this plan while vacationing in California where they are known to have visited a roadside coffee shop shaped like a giant coffee pot.

Seeking local assistance, the Maurers hired carpenter George Reeve and two eccentric stage show set designers, brothers William and Samuel Collins. A live duck tied with a string to their porch served as a model for the Collins’ design. Reeve studied the carcass of a cooked chicken in order to create a sturdy, bird-accurate, frame work for the building. Construction of The Big Duck had begun.

After The Big Duck’s wooden frame had been pieced together, wire mesh was attached. Cement was applied to the wire mesh with the assistance of Smith and Yeager Builders. The Big Duck was painted a lovely bright white, save the beak, of course, which was given its street-line orange color. The finishing touch was the placement of two Model-T taillights in The Big Duck’s head for eyes that would glow red at night. The Big Duck in its entirety measures 30 feet from beak to peaky tail, 15 feet from folded wing to folded wing and 20 feet from its base to the top of its head. As duck farms in the 1930’s were commonly known as duck ranches, Martin Maurer had his giant duck shop and business trademarked as The Big Duck Ranch.

The Big Duck roosted at The Big Duck Ranch on West Main Street till 1936. The Maurers’ had sold quite a few ducks from their unique shop and decided to relocate, Big Duck and all, to Route 24 in Flanders. The Flanders community welcomed The Big Duck with open arms and have cherished it since.

The Big Duck’s popularity grew and continues to grow steadily. When the land where The Big Duck rested was slated for development in 1987, Big Duck fans from all over joined Suffolk County in an effort to preserve The Big Duck. The Big Duck’s then current owners, Kia and Pouran Eshghi, generously donated The Big Duck to Suffolk County in December of 1987. The Big Duck was relocated to a nearby County Park. In 2007, since the former site had not been developed after all, the Big Duck was returned to the heart of Flanders.

The Big Duck is open to the public as a gift shop and museum. Visitors can browse historic photographs, antique postcards and published articles as well as photos of roadside architecture on display. Unusual duck merchandise or ‘duck-a-billia’ as well as other Long Island  gifts and hardcrafted items are available for sale.

World Famous Duck Architecture

While The Big Duck is a well-known Long Island landmark, it has also lent its name to a specific style of roadside architecture. The architectural term, “duck” was coined by architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown in 1968. Duck buildings are highly sculptural forms which represent products or services available within as opposed to the more common ‘decorated sheds’ which are plain buildings whose functions are revealed by added signage.

Within Suffolk County’s Big Duck as with other architectural ducks, the building itself is the signage, a colossal, three dimensional, representational advertisement. Designed to mesmerize passing motorists and entice them ultimately to a purchase, ducks are fantastical while retaining their purely practical intentions. The Big Duck has become the most famous example of roadside architecture.

Another well-known architect named James Wines has proposed the Duck Design Theory, D.D.T., part of which states: ‘Form follows fantasy not function for architecture that cannot offer fantasy fails man’s need to dream.’

Long Island Duck Farms

How did the Pekin duck get to Long Island? According to legend, in 1870, a Long Island sailor travelled to China and returned with nine of the snowy-white, orange-beaked Pekin ducks. These ducks thrived on Long Island’s splendid waterways when shelter was provided them for the cold winters.

As Pekin duck meat was especially succulent, it marketing potential soon became evident to potential soon became evident to Long Islanders. Duck farms, sometimes known as duck ranches, sprang up all over Suffolk County, producing 60% of the nation’s ducks by 1969. Today that figure has dropped to below 15% due to escalating land values, increased production costs and environmental concerns.

Long Island duckling can still be found as a menu offering at the finest restaurants around the world.

The Big Duck Museum Store features many duck-inspired souvenirs. Find Big Duck t-shirts, caps, magnets, key chains, mugs, note cards, holiday ornaments and children’s items as well as other Duck-a-bilia. Also find many local products: Books on local history, Long Island seaside photography and artwork, hand-crafted items. calendars, post cards and much more.

The Big Duck

1012 Flanders Road

Flanders, New York

(631) 852-3377

Directions:

From Western Long Island:

From the LIE, exit 71 take Route 24 south through the Riverhead traffic circle. Cross Route 105 and continue 1 mile on Route 24 to The Big Duck on the left, right after Huntington Lane.

From the Sunrise Highway, take exit 64N (Riverhead), make a right onto Pleasure Drive, Flanders. At a right onto Pleasure Drive, Flanders. At the end, make a left onto Route 24. The Big Duck is on the right, after the access road to the Flanders Men’s Club.

From Eastern Long Island:

From the Sunrise Highway, take exit 65N, Riverhead and travel 5 miles on Route 24 to The Big Duck on the right after the access to the Flanders men’s Club.

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation Division of Historic Services pamphlet. The Big Duck is very unusual to visit and has bathroom facilities.

 

 

 

Locust Grove: A National Historic Landmark 2683 South Road (Route 9) Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Locust Grove: A National Historic Landmark 2683 South Road (Route 9) Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Locust Grove: A National Historic Landmark

2683 South Road (Route 9)

Poughkeepsie, NY  12601

(845) 454-4500

http://www.lgny.org

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48443-d263920-Reviews-Locust_Grove_Estate-Poughkeepsie_New_York.html?m=19905

Overlooking the Hudson River, the 180 acre Locust Grove Estate includes an Italianate villa designed in 1851 by architect Alexander Jackson Davis for artist and inventor Samuel F. B. Morse. The estate, with miles of carriage roads, landscaped grounds, historic gardens and Hudson River views, was preserved as a museum and nature preserve by the Young family, whose collection of art and antiques is exhibited in the mansion’s 25 rooms.

Visitor Information: The gardens and grounds are open year round from 8:00am to dusk, weather permitting.

House Tours: Offered May through November, daily from 10:00am-5:00pm and weekends in April & December. Groups tours by appointment.

Visitor Center: Open January through March, weekdays from 10:00am-5:00pm. April through December daily from 10:00am-5:00pm.

Location: Locust Grove is located on Route 9 in Poughkeepsie, NY, two miles south of the Mid-Hudson Bridge or 11 miles north of Interstate 84.

Locust Grove

2683 South Road (Route 9)

Poughkeepsie, NY  12601

(845) 454-4500

http://www.lgny.org

Disclaimer: this information is taken from the Locust Grove Historic pamphlet. The site is very interesting and should be added to your list of ‘must sees’ in the area. Please call the site for more information.

Olana State Historic Site 5720 Route 9G Hudson, NY 12534

Olana State Historic Site 5720 Route 9G Hudson, NY 12534

Olana State Historic Site

5720 Route 9G

Hudson, NY  12534

(518) 828-0135

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g47931-d263717-Reviews-Olana_State_Historic_Site-Hudson_New_York.html?m=19905

Olana, one of the most important artistic residences and planned landscapes in the United States, is the last and perhaps greatest masterpiece created by Hudson River School artist Fredrick Edwin Church (1826-1900). Church designed the landscape and his Persian style home on and around the same hilltop where, as an eighteen year old student, he sketched spectacular views of the Catskills and the river alongside his mentor Thomas Cole.

Even in an era defined by personal architectural statements, the home of Fredric and Isabel Church was unique. Delight in the Moorish details of the building and each room. View the original furnishings of the house and walk or jog along the paths and carriage drives of the surrounding landscape, also designed by Church.

A designated National Historic Landmark, Olana State Historic Site opened to the public in 1967. The house, its contents and the landscape still look very much as they did in Church’s day.

Directions: Located on Route 9G, five miles south of Hudson. Take NYS I-87 to Exit 21, Catskill. Take Route 23 over Rip Van Winkle Bridge. Bear right on Route 9G south. Olana is one mile on the left. Or visit our websites at http://www.Olana.org and http://www.nysparks.com.

Hours: House available by guided tour only. Call for days and hours or visit http://www.olana.org. Reservations suggested; group tours by advance reservation only. Grounds open 8:00am-sunset year around.

http://www.nyparks.com

http://www.olana.org

Olana State Historic Site

5720 Route 9G

Hudson, NY  12534

(518) 828-0135

Disclaimer: this information is take directly from the NY Parks pamphlet on the Olana Historic Site. Please call the site for more information.

Wilderstein Historic Site 330 Morton Road Rhinebeck, NY 12572

Wilderstein Historic Site 330 Morton Road Rhinebeck, NY 12572

Wilderstein Historic Site

330 Morton Road

Rhinebeck, New York 12572

(845) 876-4818

http://www.wilderstein.org

Visit Wilderstein-With its exquisite Queen Anne mansion and Calvert Vaux designed landscape, this historic estate is widely regarded as the Hudson Valley’s most important example of Victorian architecture.

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48486-d263984-Reviews-Wilderstein_Historic_Site-Rhinebeck_New_York.html?m=19905

The mansion: Originally built in 1852 as a restrained Italianate Villa, the house was transformed in 1888 into the elaborate Queen Anne Victorian mansion seen today.

The Landscape: Renowned landscape architect Calvert Vaux designed Wilderstein’s romantic grounds taking advantage of the varied topography and magnificent views of the Hudson.

The Family: Wilderstein was home to three generations of the Suckley family. The last family member to live at Wilderstein was Margaret (Daisy)  Suckley, whose extraordinary friendship with Franklin Delano Roosevelt has been well-chronicled and is the subject of much interest.

The Mansion Interiors: Joseph Burr Tiffany decorated the first floor of the mansion in eclectic mix of styles. The interiors are virtually untouched since 1888 and contain original woodwork, stained glass, wall coverings and furniture.

Directions: From the center of Rhinebeck travel south on Route 9, take first right to Mill Road and go 2.2 miles, take right to Morton Road (County Route 85) and Wilderstein’s entrance is one quarter mile on the left.

Hours: Tours May to October, Thursday through Sunday, from noon until 4:00pm (last tour at 3:30pm) and weekends in December. Group tours by advance reservation.

Wilderstein Historic Site

330 Morton Road

Rhinebeck, New York 12572

(845) 876-4818

http://www.wilderstein.org

Disclaimer: This information is taken from the Wilderstein Historic Site pamphlet. Please call the site for more information.

El Museo del Barrio 1230 Fifth Avenue, Museum Mile, New York, NY 10029

El Museo del Barrio 1230 Fifth Avenue, Museum Mile, New York, NY 10029

El Museo del Barrio

1230 Fifth Avenue

Museum Mile,

New York, NY  10029

(212) 831-7272

info@elmuseo.org

Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 11:00am-6:00pm/Sunday-12:00pm-5:00pm/Closed: Tuesday

Fee:

$9.00 for Adults

$5.00 Children & Seniors

Free: Members and children under 12/Seniors on Wednesdays

 

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d116228-Reviews-El_Museo_del_Barrio-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

Mission:

The mission of El Museo del Barrio is to present and preserve the art and culture of Puerto Ricans and all Latin Americans in the United States. Through its extensive collections, varied exhibitions and publications, bilingual public programs, educational activates, festivals and special events, El Museo educates its diverse public in the richness of Caribbean and Latin American arts and cultural history. By introducing young people to this cultural heritage, El Museo is creating the next generation of museum-goers while satisfying the growing interest in Caribbean and Latin American art of a broad national and international audience.

History:

El Museo was founded 45 years ago by artist and educator Raphael Montanez Ortiz and a coalition of parents, educators, artists and activists who not that mainstream museums largely ignored Latino artists. Since its inception, El Museo has been committed to celebrating and promoting Latino culture, thus becoming a cornerstone of El Barrio and a valuable resource for New York City. El Museo’s varied permanent collection of over 6,500 objects, spans more than 800 years of Latin American, Caribbean and Latino art, includes pre-Columbian Taino artifacts, traditional arts, twentieth-century drawings, painting, sculptures and installations as well as prints, photography, documentary films and video. For a brief overview of our  history and to explore the institutional chronology and exhibition history year by year.

Our Purpose:

El Museo del Barrio’s purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret the art and artifacts of Caribbean and Latin American cultures for posterity.

To enhance the sense of identify, self-esteem and self-knowledge of the Caribbean and Latin American peoples by educating them in their artistic heritage and bringing art and artists into their communities.

To provide an educational forum that promotes an appreciation and understanding of Caribbean and Latin American art and culture and its rich contribution to North America.

To offer Caribbean and Latin American artists greater access to institutional support in the national and international art world.

To convert young people of Caribbean and Latin American descent into the next generation of museum-goers, stakeholders in the institution created for them.

To fulfill our special responsibility as a center of learning and training ground for the growing numbers of artists, educators, art historians and museum professionals interested in Caribbean and Latin American Art.

The mission reaffirms the vision of Raphael Montanez Ortiz, who founded El Museo del Barrio in 1969 and of the Puerto Rican educators, artists and community activities who worked in support of this goal.

(El Museo del Barrio pamphlet online)

Collection:

The museum features an extensive collection of around 8,500 pieces composed of pre-Columbian and traditional artifacts, particularly a large permanent Taino exhibit as well as 20th century arts and crafts, graphics and popular media, Mexican masks, textiles from Chile and photographs and traditional art from Puerto Rico. There are often temporary exhibits on Puerto Rican and Latino modern art. The museum also sponsors numerous festivals and educational programs throughout the year including the annual Three Kings Day parade.  Due to a lack of space prior to their 2009-2010 expansion, the museum began to place some of their permanent collection online. This also served as a means of audience development. (Wikipedia)

El Museo del Barrio

1230 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY  10029

(212) 831-7272

Open Wednesday-Saturday

11:00am-6:00pm

Sunday

12:00pm-5:00pm