Tag: NYC Parks

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park Roosevelt Island, NYC

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park Roosevelt Island, NYC

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park

Roosevelt Island, NYC, NY

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d3595273-Reviews-Franklin_D_Roosevelt_Four_Freedoms_Park-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is the first memorial dedicated to the president in his home state of New York. Located on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island in New York City, it is the last work of Louis I. Kahn, an iconic architect of the 20th Century. The memorial, which opened to the public in October 2012, celebrates the four freedoms, as pronounced in President Roosevelt’s famous January 6, 1941 State of the Union address: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom of want and freedom from fear.

Our Mission:

As steward of this civic space, Four Freedoms Park Conservancy advances President Roosevelt’s legacy and inspires; educates and engages the public in the ideals of the four freedoms. The Conservancy does this by:

*Safeguarding the memorial as a space for inspired use.

*Fostering community and understanding.

*Igniting conversation about human rights and freedoms today.

On January 6, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his eighth State of the Union address, now known as the Four Freedoms speech. In his address, Roosevelt presented his vision for the world, “a world attainable in our own time and generation,” and founded upon four essential human freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

Roosevelt’s call for human rights has created a lasting legacy worldwide, forming the basis for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948.

For a richer of FDR, his legacy and the four freedoms, visit fdr4freedoms.org

Franklins D. Roosevelt Island: A History

Originally called Minnahannock by Native Americans and Varkins Island  by the Dutch settlers, the island was acquired by the Blackwell family in the 1600’s, who renamed the land Blackwell Island. The Blackwells lived on and farmed it before selling it to the City of New York in 1828 for $30,000.

In the 19th Century, the island was used by the City for institutional facilities, including the Workhouse, Penitentiary, Lunatic Asylum, City Hospital and City Home and given the name Welfare Island in 1921. These institutions served the City until the 1930’s., before gradually being relocated to areas more easily accessible to public transportation.

In 1969, this two-mile island was lease to the State of New York for 99 years. Under New York State’s Urban Development Corporation, Welfare Island  became a beacon for the affordable housing movement within the City. Construction of the Island community was completed in 1975 with four housing developments. In 1973, the island was renamed Franklin D. Roosevelt Island.

Today, Roosevelt Island has a small town fell with approximately 20 buildings and 14,00 residents. The island is home to six landmarked structures and proudly houses Four Freedoms Park, one of the original visions for the Island. To learn more, visit the Roosevelt Island Visitor Center at the Tram Plaza.

(Judith Berdy, President, The Roosevelt Island Visitor Center)

A Memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt

Nearly 40 years before the Park opened its gates to the public, Louis I. Kahn presented his vision for what would become Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. It was a simple idea. “I had this thought,” Kahn said. “that a memorial should be a room and a garden.”

This was 1973. Less than a year later, Khan had died; Governor Nelson Rockefeller, who had announced the project with Mayor John  Lindsay, became Vice President of the country and the City of New York neared bankruptcy.

The future of the memorial seemed a fragile and tenuous dream. Yet, through the power and determination of a small but dedicated group, nearly four decades after Kahn completed his architectural design, Four Freedoms Park became the place he envisioned. In 2012, following 30 months of construction, the Park opened to the public. The Park is operated and maintained by Four Freedoms Park Conservancy in partnership with New York State Parks.

Park Hours:

Open Daily, closed Tuesday

Free to the Public

April-September, 9:00am-7:00pm

October-March, 9:00am-5:00pm

Visit fdrfourfreedomspark.org to learn more about the Park and upcoming events and programs.

Facebook.com/fdrfreedompark

Twitter/Instagram: @4freedompark

Part of the New York State of Opportunity: Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Disclaimer: this information was taken from the NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation pamphlet. Please call the park or email to check on opening times when in season.

 

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General Grant National Memorial 122nd Street and Riverside Drive New York, NY 10027

General Grant National Memorial 122nd Street and Riverside Drive New York, NY 10027

The General Grant National Memorial

122nd Street and Riverside Drive

New York, NY 10027

(212) 666-1640

http://www.nps.gov/gegr

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday: 9:00am-5:00pm/Closed Monday-Tuesday/Check for tour times on site.

Fee: Donation

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d105812-Reviews-General_Grant_National_Memorial-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

A Grateful Nation:

The Grant Memorial was designed by architect John Duncan. Rising to an imposing 150 feet from the bluff overlooking the Hudson River, it took 12 years to build and remains the largest mausoleum in North America. Its  great size was meant to express the profound admiration Americans felt for the Civil War commander and was propelled to the forefront of America’s pantheon of heroes and declared the equal of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Spearheaded by the Grant Monument Association, some 90,000 people from around the United States and the world donated over $600,000 to construct the memorial, the largest public fundraising effort up to that time. Initial fundraising was led by Richard T. Greener, first black graduate of Harvard and a Grant supporter who credited the general with his advancement. Many African Americans contributed to the building fund.

The memorial is open from 9:00am-5:00pm daily. For information or to arrange for group visits call (212) 666-1640.

Among the most Revered of Men:

This large classically proportioned mausoleum honors the Civil War general who saved the nation from dissolution and the president who worked to usher in a new era of peace and equality for all Americans. Ulysses S. Grant, a plain-spoken unassuming man who studiously avoided pomp and ceremony had volunteered his services for the Union effort when the Civil War erupted in 1861. In doing what he considered simply his duty, he emerged after four years of fighting as one of the great military leaders in history. Aggressiveness, speed, tenacity and the ability to adjust his plans in the face of unexpected impediments all helped to bring him victory.

As great as he was in war, Grant showed magnanimity and compassion in peace. He granted humane and generous terms when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to him on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Court House. As president he pardoned many former Confederate leaders at the same time insisting on protecting the full political equality of former slaves. He was also concerned that American Indian tribes be treated with dignity  and respect. His fundamental desire for peace was reflected in his efforts to solve international disputes by arbitration rather than by threat of war. At the time of his death in 1885. Grant was universally respected by northerners and southerners alike.

Because of Grant’s status as a national hero, most Americans assumed he would be buried in Washington DC but his family preferred New York City. Grant himself had no strong preference; his only desire was for his wife, Julia to be buried next to him. The funeral on August 8, 1885 was one of the most spectacular events New York had ever seen. Buildings all over the city were draped in black. An estimated one million people crowded sidewalks, filled windows, stood on rooftops and climbed trees and telephone poles for a view of the procession, which stretched seven miles and took  five hours to pass.

Grant’s remains were placed in a temporary vault until an appropriate memorial could be funded and built. On April 27, 1897, the 75th anniversary of Grant’s birth, thousands of people, including diplomats from 26 countries, attended the dedication ceremony for the completed memorial. The dedication parade, led by President William McKinley, was almost as large as Grant’s funeral parade. Julia Grant reviewed the ceremony sitting next to President McKinley. She was laid by her husband’s side after her death in 1902.

The tomb is located in Riverside Park near Columbia University and across the street from Sakura Park, where Japanese Cherry trees are in bloom every Spring. Near the tomb is the memorial to the ‘Amicable Child’ and that should not be missed as well.

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the National Park Service pamphlet. This is a very interesting National Memorial and should not be missed. It is opened at certain times of the week, so please look for the posted hours. (The memorial is open from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily. For more information or to arrange for groups visits, please call (212) 666-1640).

Shorakkopoch Rock Inwood Hill Park New York, NY

Shorakkopoch Rock Inwood Hill Park New York, NY

Shorakkopoch Rock

Located in Inwood Hill Park and part of the NYC Parks System. The rock was dedicated on February 2, 1954 by the Peter Minuet Post #1247, American Legion.

I came across the Shorakkopoch Rock, the noted spot that Peter Minuet has been said to have bought the island of Manhattan from the Indians. No one is too sure where the spot of the ‘transaction’ took place as some feel it may have been closer to downtown by the Bowling Green, where the original Dutch settlement was located or maybe he travelled to them, we will never know. What we do know is that he said the transaction took place under a tulip tree and in this spot used to be a tulip tree that was over 220 years old before it died.

The rock reads:

Shorakkopoch: According to legend, on this site of the rock, principal Manhattan Indian Village, Peter Minuet in 1626, purchased Manhattan Island for trinkets and beads them worth about 60 guilders. This boulder also marks the spot where a tulip tree (Liriodendron Tulipifera)  grew to a height of 165 feet and a girth of 20 feet. It was until its death in 1932 at the age of 220 years old, the oldest living link with the Reckgawawang Indians, who lived here. Dedicated as part of New York City’s 300th Anniversary celebration by the Peter Minuet Post 1247 American Legion 1954.

For more information on the rock, please contact the Art & Antiquities  at (212) 360-8143.

Disclaimer: This information was taken form the NYC Parks Department website.

Please take time out when visiting Manhattan to see this important piece of the city’s history as the city itself was founded on this very site.

Muscota Marsh West 218th Street and Indian Road New York, NY

Muscota Marsh West 218th Street and Indian Road New York, NY

Muscota Marsh

West 218th Street & Indian Road

New York, NY

Inwood Section of Manhattan.

I came across the Muscota Marsh when I was walking the neighborhood of Inwood in 2015 and thought that this is a great site that tourists should see on top of a visit to Inwood Park and the Shorakkopoch Rock where Peter Minuet bought Manhattan from the Indians.

The Muscota Marsh is a one acre public park in the Inwood section of the borough of Manhattan in New York City, on the shore of Spuyten Duyvil Creek, a section of the Harlem River. It is adjacent to the much larger Inwood Hill Park and Columbia University’s Baker Athletics Complex. The park is notable for its views and for its ecological conservation features.

Muscota Marsh is unusual for having both a freshwater marsh and a salt marsh in such a tiny area. Besides attracting plant and animal life, these wetlands are intended to help filter rainwater runoff and thereby improve the water quality of the river. Other facilities include a dock for kayaks and canoes, benches and walking paths. A wooden deck overlooking the river provides views of Inwood Hill Park, the Henry Hudson Bridge and the New Jersey Palisades.

As this public green space, with a design inspired by tidal flats and mud ways, you can enjoy the educational richness of the marsh from the wildlife observation deck or venture out on to a wooden deck stretching out to the waterway through the native water gardens.

Because of the close proximity of the salt marsh and the freshwater wetlands, you’ll be able to spot beautiful wading birds like the great blue heron and the snowy egret. You can also see leopard frogs and ribbed among the dramatic colors and textures of the marsh’s native plants.

Opened to the public in January 2014, the park was constructed by Columbia University as part of a deal to construct the new Campbell Sports Center within its adjacent athletics complex. It was designed by James Corner Field Operations, which is best known for its work on Manhattan’s High Line. It is cooperatively administered by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and Columbia, with the university providing maintenance and security.

The park is open all year round and is free to enter. It is right next to the Columbia Stadium. Check out the big ‘C’ on the cliffs opposite of the river.

Disclaimer: This information was taken from the NYC Parks information guide and Wikipedia. Please check this small pocket park out for its beauty and for its importance in the environment.

Central Park Conservatory Garden Located between 104th and 106th Streets by Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10029

Central Park Conservatory Garden Located between 104th and 106th Streets by Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10029

The Central Park Conservatory Garden

Located between 104th and 106th Streets off Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10029

Hours: Depends on the season and the Dawn to Dusk rule

Fee: Free

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d272517-Reviews-Conservatory_Garden-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

This time of the year (Spring) the Central Park Conservatory is in full bloom and it’s magnificence is at it’s finest in the Spring and Summer months. In May, the tulips and daffodils are just finishing their flowering and the lilacs are just finishing their blooming and still fragrant the garden. The lawns are all a deep green and the dogwood trees are just starting to bloom around the rings of the gardens.

The beauty of the Central Park Conservatory is that it blooms all year around except the winter and even then there is a quiet elegance to the gardens.

History of The Central Park Conservatory:

The Central Park Conservatory Garden is the only formal garden in Central Park, New York City and is located approximately between 104th and 106th Street on Fifth Avenue in NYC. The Garden consists of about six acres of formal landscaping of trees, shrubs and flowers. The formal garden is divided into three smaller gardens each with a distinct style: Italian, French and English. The Central Conservatory Garden is an officially designated Quiet Zone and offers a calm and colorful setting for a leisurely stroll and intimate wedding.

It takes its name from a conservatory that stood  on the site from 1898 to 1934. The park’s head gardener used the glasshouses to harden hardwood cuttings for the park’s plantings. After the conservatory was torn down, the garden was designed by Gilmore D. Clarke, landscape architect for Robert Moses, with planting plans by M. Betty Sprout and constructed and planted by WPA workers, it was opened to the public in 1937.

The Garden is composed of three distinct parts, skillfully restored since the 1980’s and is accessible through the Vanderbilt Gate at Fifth Avenue and 105th Street, a quarter south of the park’s northeast corner. The Vanderbilt Gate once gave access to the forecourt of Cornelius Vanderbilt II’s chateau designed by George Browne Post, the grandest of the Fifth Avenue mansions of the Gilded Age, at 58th Street and Fifth Avenue, sharing the Plaza with Plaza Hotel. The wrought iron gates with cast iron and repousse details, were designed by Post and executed in an iron foundry in Paris.

Below the steps flanked by Cornelian cherry, the central section of the Conservatory Garden is a symmetrical lawn outlined in clipped yew, with a single central fountain jet at the rear. It is flanked by twin allees of crabapples and backed by a curved wisteria pergola against the steep natural slope, that is dominated at its skyline by a giant American Sycamore. Otherwise there is no flower color; instead on any fine Saturday afternoon in June, it is a scene of photography sessions for colorful wedding parties for which limousines pull up in rows on Fifth Avenue.

To the left of the south side is the garden of mixed herbaceous borders in wide concentric bands around The Secret Garden water lily pool, dedicated in 1936 to the memory of Frances Hodgson Burnett with sculpture by Bessie Potter Vonnoh. Some large shrubs , like tree lilac, magnolias, buddleias and Cornus alba ‘elegantissima’ provide vertical structure and offer light shade to offset the sunny locations, planted by Lynden Miller with a wide range of hardy perennials and decorative grasses, intermixed with annuals planted to seem naturalized. This  garden has seasonal features to draw visitors from April through October.

To the right of the central formal plat is a garden also in concentric circles, round the Untermyer Fountain, which was donated by the family of Samuel Untermyer in 1947. The bronze figures, Three Dancing Maidens by Walter Schott (1861-1938) were executed in Germany about 1910 and formed a fountain at Utermyer’s estate “Greystone” in Yonkers, New York.

This section of the Conservatory Garden has two dramatic seasons of massed display of tulips in the spring and Korean chrysanthemums in the fall. Beds of satolina clipped in knotted designs with contrasting bronze-leaved bedding begonias surround the fountain and four rose arbor gates are planted with reblooming ‘Silver Moon’ and ‘Betty Prior’ roses.

After the Second World War the garden had become neglected and by the 1970’s became a wasteland. It was restored and partially replanted under the direction of horticulturist and urban landscape designer Lyden Miller to reopen in June 1987. The overgrown, top-heavy crabapples were freed of watershoots and pruned up to a higher scaffold for better form. The high-style mixed planting was the first to bring estate garden style to urban parks, part of the general of Central Park under Elizabeth Barlow Rogers of the Central Park Conservancy.

(This information directly from Wikipedia and has many sources)

Hours of Operation:

November-February (8:00am-5:00pm)

March  (8:00am-6:00pm)

April  (8:00am-7:00pm)

May  (August 14th 8:00am-8:00pm)

August 15-31 (8:00am-7:30pm)

September (8:00am-7:30pm)

http://www.centralparknyc.org/things-to-see-and-do/#what_lawns-and-landscapes

Dyckman Farmhouse Museum 4881 Broadway at 204th Street New York, New York 10034

Dyckman Farmhouse Museum 4881 Broadway at 204th Street New York, New York 10034

I visited the Dyckman Farmhouse on day during my walk around the Inwood section of Manhattan and came upon this old farmhouse in the middle of the commercial district by Columbia University’s football field. You have to take the A or the 1 Subway uptown to get there but it is one of the last vestiges of the farming community that once was Manhattan in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. It has been there since the family donated it to the city in 1916. It should not be missed when visiting Manhattan. I wrote more about my trip there in “MywalkinManhattan” blog site.

The Dyckman Farmhouse

4881 Broadway at 204th Street

New York, NY  10034

(212) 304-9422

dyckmanfarmhouse.org

http://dyckmanfarmhouse.org/

Hours:

Winter Schedule: November-April Friday and Saturday 11:00am-4:00pm

Monday-Wednesday: Groups by Appointment Only; Groups of 10 or more by appointment

Thursday-Saturday: 11:00am-4:00pm

Sunday: 11:00am-3:00pm

Fee: Donation Based

My TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d108018-Reviews-Dyckman_Farmhouse_Museum-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

 

The Dyckman House, now the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum in the oldest remaining farmhouse on Manhattan island, a remainder of New York City’s rural past. The Dutch Colonial-style farmhouse was built by William Dyckman in 1785. It was originally part of over 250 acres of farmland owned by the family. It was once the center of a thriving farm with fields and orchards of cherry, pear and apple trees. It is now located in a small park at the corner of Broadway and 204th Street in the Inwood section neighborhood of the city.

History and Description

William Dyckman was the grandson of Jan Dyckman, who came to the area from Westphalia in 1661. Jan Dyckman, a shoemaker and another Dutch settler, Jan Nagel purchased much of the land between present 155th Street and the northern tip of the island. Members of the Dyckman and Nagel families lived on the land for three generations until the Revolutionary War broke out.

dyckman farm house III

The house and front gardens

During the Revolutionary War, the British occupation of Manhattan in 1776-83, the Dyckman’s, like many other patriots, fled the city and did not return until the British had been defeated. When the war ended and the Dyckman’s found their home and orchards had been destroyed, they built a new house on the Kingsbridge Road, now Broadway. They chose this location on a major thoroughfare in order to supplement their income by providing accommodations for travelers on their way to and from Manhattan.

William Dyckman, who inherited the family estate built the current house to replace the family house located on the Harlem River near the present West 210th Street, which he had build in 1748 and which was destroyed in the American Revolutionary War.

There was also 30 people living within three other houses scattered across the roughly 250 acre farm. The residents included laborers and other Dyckman family members. The main outbuildings for the farm were built close to the farmhouse including a cider mill, corn cribs, barns and stable (Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Alliance).

The house is designed with:

The Relic Room: Objects that are displayed were discovered from digs in the area.

The Second Floor Bedroom: Some of the rooms are decorated with furnishings dating from the 18th and 19th centuries and reflect colonial life around 1800.

The Parlor: This area was used for a variety of activities from dining to socializing.

The Bedroom: There were two bedrooms on the first floor and one large sleeping space on the second floor.

Dyckman farm house IV

Downstairs bedroom

The Winter and Summer Kitchens: The farmhouse had two kitchen, the Winter and Summer kitchens, the Winter one would have kept the home warm in the cold months and would have been used  as a non-cooking work space in the summer. The Summer kitchen is closed to the public has a small bedroom attached to it.

The Garden Area: On the half acre of family land left they have constructed a reproduction a smokehouse and outbuildings along with gardens planted with thousands of new plants that include things like bleeding hearts and foxglove.

dyckman farm V.jpg

The gardens and smokehouse

(The Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Alliance)

The current two-story house is constructed of fieldstone, brick and white clapboard and features a gambrel roof and spring eaves. The porches typical of the Dutch Colonial style but were added in 1825. The house interior has parlors and an indoor (winter) kitchen, with floors of varying-width chestnut wood. The house outdoor smokehouse kitchen, in a small building to the south, may predate the house itself.

The house stayed in the family for several generations until it was sold in 1868, after which it served as a rental property for several decades. By the beginning of the 20th century, the house was in disrepair and in danger of being demolished. Two sisters of the original family and daughters of the last Dyckman child to grow up in the house, Mary Alice Dyckman Dean and Fannie Fredericka Dyckman Welch, began restoration of the farmhouse in 1915-16 under the supervision of architect Alexander M. Welch, the husband of Fannie. They then transferred the ownership of the house to the City of New York in 1916, which opened it as a museum of Dutch and Colonial life, featuring original Dyckman family furnishings.

Dyckman Farm House I

The Dyckman Farmhouse in Inwood

The farmhouse, which is not only the oldest remaining in Manhattan, but the only one in the Dutch Colonial style and the only 18th century farmhouse in the borough as well. It has New York City Landmark and a National Historic Landmark status since 1967. A major restoration of the house took place in 2003, after which it reopened to the public in the fall of 2005.

*Disclaimer: This information comes from the Historic House Trust and Wikipedia and the NYC Parks System. The site is free to visit and takes less than an hour to visit. During the summer months, it is nice to visit the gardens and property. It is a interesting property to visit and when you are through with your tour, there are many nice Spanish restaurants in the area on Broadway and along 207th Avenue corridor. It is a nice place to walk around and explore.

 

 

 

The Cloisters Museum & Gardens: The Branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to Medieval Art 99 Margaret Corbin Drive Fort Tryon New York, NY 10040

The Cloisters Museum & Gardens: The Branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to Medieval Art 99 Margaret Corbin Drive Fort Tryon New York, NY 10040

The Cloisters Museum & Gardens: A Branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

99 Margaret Corbin Drive

Fort Tryon Park

New York, NY  10040

(212) 923-3700

Open: March-October 10:00am-5:15pm/November-February-10:00am-4:45pm

http://www.metmuseum.org

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d106609-Reviews-The_Met_Cloisters-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I go to The Cloisters on a pretty regular basis and they have interesting walking tours and lectures especially in the warm months. If you like Medieval or religious art, this is a museum that is worth visiting. It is out of the way and be prepared to walk up a hill but in the summer months, the view of the Hudson River is spectacular and the gardens are beautiful.

Cloisters III

The Cloisters in Fort Tyron Park

Don’t miss the walking tours and gallery talks at the museum. I have recently been to a series of walking gallery talks dealing with the history of Medieval arts. There were discussions on Medieval art between Christian and Muslim religions, Traveling the Silk Road and its influences on art in the regions and the collection and how it has improved and grown over the years. It seems there has been a up tick in this type of art.

Cloisters IV

This section of the shine is on a permanent loan from Spain

The building is just beautiful as it was created from pieces of religious sites all over Europe. Many of the doorways, cloisters (archways), stone work and fountains and windows come from churches that had been destroyed by wars over the past 600 years. Bits and pieces of all of the these buildings are displayed in the architecture of the museum itself. Some are on permanent loan to the museum from foreign countries. Don’t miss the famous “Hunt of the Unicorn” tapestries that are on display here. They are quite a spectacular exhibit.

Cloisters II.jpg

The Hunt of the unicorn tapestries

Be sure to visit the outside terraces of the Cloisters to see the views of the Hudson River below and the beautiful gardens of Fort Tyron Park where the building is located. It is a sea of green lawns and woods and beautifully landscaped flowering paths.

There is a nice café on property but there is also a nice outdoor café in the park as well as a small restaurant row on Dyckman Avenue at the foot of the park right near the subway stop. There are also many terrific Spanish restaurants on Dyckman Street as you walk down the block towards Fort George Hill.

Welcome to The Cloisters, the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Set on a hilltop with commanding views of the Hudson River. The Cloisters is designed in a style evocative of medieval architecture specifically for the display of masterpiece created during that era. Arranged roughly chronologically and featuring works primarily from Western Europe, the collection includes sculpture, stained glass, tapestries, painting, manuscript illumination and metalwork. The extensive gardens feature medieval plantings, enhancing the evocative environment.

Cloisters

The Gardens at the Cloisters in bloom

History of the Museum

John D. Rockefeller Jr. generously provided for the building, the setting in Fort Tryon Park and the acquisition of the notable George Grey Barnard Collection, the nucleus of The Cloisters collection. Barnard Collection, the nucleus of The Cloisters collection. Barnard, an American sculptor whose work can be seen in the American Wing of the Metropolitan, traveled extensively in France, where he purchased medieval sculpture and architectural elements often from descendants of citizens who had appropriated objects abandoned during the French Revolution. The architect Charles Collens incorporated these medieval elements into the fabric of The Cloisters, which opened to the public in 1938.

Romanesque Hall

Imposing stone portals from French churches of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries open onto a gallery that features rare Spanish frescoes and French sculpture.

Fuentiduena Chapel

The twelfth-century apse from the church of San Martin at Fuentiduena, Spain and the great contemporary fresco of Christ in Majesty from a church in the Pyrenees Mountains dominate the space. Sculpture from Italy and Spain enriches the chapel, which is the setting for a celebrated concert series.

Saint-Guilhem Cloister

The fine carving of this cloister from the monastery of Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert, near Montpellier, harmoniously and playfully adapts the forms of Roman sculpture in a medieval context. The plants depicted in the sculpture, acanthus and palm, are growing in pots near the small fountain. The gallery also features early sculpture from Italy, Islamic Spain and elsewhere in France.

Langon Chapel

Architectural elements from the twelfth-century church of Notre-Dame-du-Bourg at Langon near Bordeaux form the setting for the display of thirteenth-century French stained glass and important Burgundian sculpture in wood and stone.

Pontaut Chapter House

Monks from the Cistercian abbey at Potaut in Aquitaine once gathered for daily meetings in this twelfth-century enclosure known as a chapter house. At the time of its purchase in the 1930’s by a Parisian dealer, the column supports were being used to tether farm animals.

Cuxa Cloister and Garden

The distinctive pink stone of this cloister, featuring capitals carved with wild and fanciful creatures, was quarried in the twelfth century near Canigou in the Pyrenees Mountains for the nearby Benedictine monastery of Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa. The typical cloister garden features crossed paths and a central fountain from the neighboring monastery of Saint-Genis-des-Fountaines. Both medieval and modern species of plants are grown in the garden. In winter, the arcades are enclosed and fragrant potted plants fill the walkways.

Cloisters.jpg

 

Early Gothic Hall

With thirteenth-century windows overlooking the Hudson River, the gallery features stained glass from France’s great churches, including Saint-Germain-des-Pres in Paris. Sculptures and paintings from France, Italy and Spain evoke the great age of cathedrals.

Nine Heroes Tapestries Room

From an original series of nine hangings created about 1400 for a member of the Valois court, the tapestries portray fabled heroes of ancient, Hebrew and Christian history, including the legendary King Arthur. It is among the earliest sets of surviving medieval tapestries.

Unicorn Tapestries Room

With brilliant colors, beautiful landscapes and precise depictions of flora and fauna, these renowned tapestries depicting the hunt and capture of the mythical unicorn are among the most studied and beloved objects at The Cloisters. Probably designed in Paris and woven in Brussels about 1500 for an unknown patron, these hangings blend the secular and sacred worlds of the Middle Ages.

Cloisters II.jpg

Boppard Room

Stained glass from the fifteenth-century Camelite convent at Boppard-am-Rhein dominates one end of the room. Fifteenth-century panel paintings and sculpture from the Rhineland and northern Spain, a brass lectern, domestic furniture, Spanish lusterware, tapestries, metalwork and sculpture further evoke a sacred space.

Merode Room

One of the most celebrated early Netherlandish paintings in the world, the Merode Altarpiece, painted in Tournai about 1425-30, forms the centerpiece of this gallery. The altarpiece, intended for the private prayers of its owners, represents the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary taking place in a fifteenth-century household. Details of the scene are echoed in the late medieval furnishings of the room in which other works made for private devotion are also exhibited.

Late Gothic Hall

Large fifteenth-century limestone windows from the refectory of the former Dominican monastery in Sens, France, illuminate the hall, which showcases sculpture and altarpieces from Germany, Italy and Spain as well as a great tapestry from Burgos Cathedral.

Gothic Chapel

Beneath richly colored stained-glass windows from fourteenth-century Austria carved images from royal and noble tombs of France and Spain fill the chapel-like setting.

Glass Gallery

Silver-stained glass roundels decorate the windows of the Glass Gallery, complementing small works of art, many made for secular use, with their lively, sometimes worldly subjects. Carved woodwork from a house in Abbeville, in northern France, forms a backdrop for paintings and sculpture.

“Bonnefont” Cloister and Garden

Long thought to be part of the abbey at Bonnefont-en-Comminges, the elements of this cloister come instead from other monasteries in the region including a destroyed monastery in Tarbes. The herb garden contains more than 250 species cultivated in the Middle Ages. Its raised beds, wattle fences and central wellhead are characteristic of a medieval monastic garden.

Trie Cloister and Garden

The stone cloister elements were created primarily for the Carmelite convert at Trie-sur-Baise in the Pyrenees. The garden is planted with medieval species to evoke the millefleurs background of medieval tapestries, such as the Unicorn series.

Treasury

An array of precious objects in gold, silver, ivory and silk reflects the wealth of medieval churches. Illuminated manuscripts testify to the piety and taste of royal patrons such as Jeanne d’Evreux, Queen of France; jewelry and a complete set of fifteenth-century playing cards suggest more worldly pastimes.

Museum Hours:

Hours: Open 7 days a week

March-October 10:00am-5:15pm

November-February 10:00am- 4:45pm

Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25th and January 1st.

*Some galleries may be closed for construction or maintenance.

*Disclaimer: This information is taken right from the Cloisters pamphlet from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Please call the museum before visiting to see if anything has changed with the hours or days open. It is well worth the trip uptown to visit The Cloisters. Take the A subway up to 190th Street and take the elevator up to Fort Tryon Park and walk across the park.