Manhattan Museums and Culture

    National Sports Museum, Lower Manhattan

  26 Broadway - New York, NY           
Nothing has shaped the world quite the same as sports. On the heart of Broadway in Manhattan sits the illustrious National Sports Museum which is dedicated to featuring the celebration of sports and the impact it has had on our culture and our lives. Inside this technologically advanced structure is an amazing assortment of interactive exhibitions, in-depth retail areas and some of the finest dining in all of New York. The center attraction begins with the immersion theater which is a 360-degree display that shows a presentation on the history and progression of sports. As visitors continue on, they will find themselves in a variety of different exhibits dealing with every major sport imaginable. You will get to see a historical timeline of the individual sports as well as video presentations on what makes that sport so great. Another feature of the National Sports Museum is the exploration of the perfect athlete. The museum presents the mental, physical and psychological preparation that goes into becoming a great athlete. Through the science, the presentation and the sheer charisma that this building produces, the National Sports Museum is a landmark in New York and one of the single best experiences available to sports fans today.
    Morgan Library & Museum, Midtown
  225 Madison Avenue - New York, NY            
A major exhibition venue for fine art, literature and music, this edifice of Manhattan’s museums and culture is also one of New York's great historical sites. A good place to shop, dine and immerse yourself in an abundance of programs for all age groups, Spring 2012 offers a celebration of the exhibition “In the Company of Animals”. The Morgan invites children ages 6–12 and their families for a day filled with music, dance, art, and... animals. Come one, come all and spend the entire day enthralled in all that is offered at this fun destination. The bright colors and variety of literature will keep the interest of even the most easily distracted. Embrace your inner intellectual, allow yourself to be drawn in and find something that peaks your curiosity. A definite must for summer vacations, minutes from Empire State Building, Bryant Park and the International Center of Photography, you will leave with a wealth of knowledge that will stay fresh in your mind for years to come. Just over 2 miles from the Guggenheim, New York City is rich in art, culture and good food. Stop by and grab yourself a bowl of famous Manhattan Clam Chowder or a delicious hot dog from Nathan’s in true New York style!
    Museum of Sex, The, Midtown
  233 Fifth Avenue (@ 27th Street) - New York, NY            
Ever wanted to know something about sex but were afraid to ask someone? Well a trip to the Museum of Sex is sure to answer most any question you have ever had about human sexuality. An ever growing museum filled with a vast wealth of knowledge, art and a resonance of desire. This Manhattan museum is one of the most diverse and innovative places you will ever visit. Push those hesitations to the side and allow yourself to delve into the creative and informational environment here. Exploring events, lectures, and publications without the concern for self-censorship one can easily put their inhibitions aside with no fear for judgment while touring the intriguing items on display. Here they are dedicated to preserving and presenting the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality. After you tour the unique site you might be enticed to visit the bar offering a wide range of sensually stimulating adult beverages and epicurean treats from local bakeries that could very well be that aphrodisiac you have been searching for. Correlating the relationships between food, drink and passion, the bar is considered the museum’s own hidden gem. Erotic, tasteful and overall an interesting place to go with your partner, friends or a day out by yourself.
    South Street Seaport Museum, Lower Manhattan
  207 Front Street - New York, NY            
Gazing down the skyline, you might just find yourself lost in the distracting beauty of the breathtaking views. Ships sailing by, the sounds of waves churning off the schooners, this New York City museum takes you back to the time when trade and travel was all done by sea. Located in this vast historical district, a treasure trove of maritime history, lies some of the oldest buildings in Manhattan boasting renovations to mercantile buildings, ships and even the former Fulton Fish Market. Nearby you will also find a few modern tourist malls, although you might not want to venture too far as there are many things at this Manhattan museum that spark the curiosity of many a passerby. Located within the South Street Seaport Museum you will find a working 19th Century print shop, a craft center where wood carvers and model builders demonstrate their skills, much to the delight of visitors. Some might say the most impressive thing here is the privately owned fleet of historic ships, the largest such fleet in the United States. Similarly on display is an outstanding collection of model ships. Come and support maritime history and enjoy some of the many beautiful buildings, great food and street performers. A new experience bound to leave you longing to come back.
    China Institute, Upper West Side
  125 East 65th Street - New York, NY           
In today’s society, it is very hard not to see the influence of Chinese culture and how it has shaped everything from medicine to our economy. The China Institute in Manhattan gives a deeper understanding of China through their programs in education, culture, business and art, and gives a strengthening of the global community by enhancing the knowledge of East and West. Inside the building, visitors will find more than your traditional artwork and instead find an education hub dedicated to all forms of communication and education supporting the understanding of China. While there, one has the opportunity to explore performing arts programs, lecture series, short courses, symposia, film screenings and workshops all revolving around China. Spring 2012 has a special focus on Chinese architecture and features a book signing for the novel “Chinese Architecture and the Beaux-Arts.” This event includes an in-depth lecture on this fascinating subject and is to be used as a catalyst to better understanding the development of Chinese architecture. The China Institute is one of New York’s best and only links to our neighbor to the east and should be a destination of anyone looking to expand their minds and better their understanding of the Chinese people.
    The Jewish Museum, Upper East Side
  1109 5th Avenue - New York, NY             
Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries. September 14, 2012 - February 3, 2013. Crossing Borders features a superb selection of over fifty Hebrew, Latin, and Arabic manuscripts from the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries, one of the world’s richest collections of manuscripts and printed books related to medieval European Jewish culture. The manuscripts, many of them exquisitely illuminated, illustrate the fertile exchanges among Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the fields of religion, art, science, and literature. Included is one of the Bodleian's greatest treasures: the magnificent Kennicott Bible. Many of the works in the exhibition are on view in the United States for the first time.
For thousands of years, the Jewish heritage has helped shape the world’s societies and changed the landscape of art, literature and culture. The Jewish Museum located in Manhattan has been built exclusively to take visitors on a journey across the world and through time. Housed within the illustrious Warburg mansion on New York’s famous Museum Mile, the Jewish Museum comprises over 27,000 separate items all dedicated to the Jewish culture from hundreds of years old pressings and paintings to the most recent digital and video displays. Visitors can be drawn to these numerous exhibitions and have a variety of guides explaining the significance of the work and how it applies to today’s society. Also included at the museum, is a uniquely comprehensive body of radio and television programs related to the Jewish experience which allows visitors to fully grasp the conceptual application of Jewish culture. Spring 2012 offers a very special installation by Barbara Bloom; the first in a projected series featuring contemporary artists interacting with collection works. The entire Jewish Museum experience is one that is eye-opening, heartfelt and allows the world to understand how the Jewish people have continued to thrive and produce through perseverance, dedication and a will to better the world around them.
    The Cloisters Museum, Harlem+
  Ft. Tryon Park - New York, NY           
Medieval Europe in New York? This implausible statement is very much a reality as you approach the Cloisters Museum branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This section of the museum has been built to resemble the architectural elements of the middle ages and takes you back in time. The museum itself is devoted to the art of the time period and offers a traditional museum experience by shares the faith of all the artists and artisans with work on display. The Cloisters is highly dedicated to maintaining its religious roots with the restoration of the Fuentiduena Chapel, featuring the most magnificent stain glass and hand crafted religious artifacts. The Cloisters has also been known to have a feel of a mini-city with their own restaurant and botanical garden designed to enhance the visiting pleasure. Summer 2012 continues with the traditions of bringing Europe to the masses, as more exhibits are on tap to make their way through the hallowed greatness that is the museum. If you are looking for a nice escape from city life and desire to feel transported into the world of yesteryear, then a trip to the Cloisters is highly recommended.
    The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, Greenwich Village+
  594 Broadway, Suite 401 - New York, NY             
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Are you a fan of cartoons? How about comic strips? If you love animated drawings from a variety of different genres and artists, you need to make a visit to the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. This beautiful Manhattan museum emphasizes the very best in animation, ranging from political and editorial cartoons all the way up to state-of-the-art computer graphic design. Guests are given the opportunity to explore the artistic and cultural impact of these works in an environment that produces feelings of nostalgia and grandeur around every corner. Closed through the beginning of Summer 2012, the museum is set to feature some of the most unique comic art in their upcoming season. A featured attraction, scheduled with the upcoming movie, is a collection documenting the vast history of the Dark Knight. A history of Batman in Japan, a look at the different artists that contributed to the various comic books, and a selection of work that inspired Michael Uslan to produce the Batman film series are all available right here in New York City. Looking for a one-of-a-kind experience? Take the time to stop in and visit the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art.
    Museum of the City of New York, Harlem+
  5th Avenue & 103rd Street - Manhattan - New York, NY           
Nothing says New York City more than a museum dedicated to what New York is all about. At the Museum of the City of New York, patrons are allowed to link the past, present and future of NYC through a variety of presentations and exhibits designed to show the timeline of what New York’s evolution. When stepping through its doors on Manhattan’s famous Museum Mile, you will notice that an extensive remodeling and expansion project is under way. Several floors of memorabilia ranging from photographs, prints, theater mementos, costumes, and more are displayed in such a way as to show the affluent history of New York and to instill a sense of grandeur the city represents. Through Summer2012, the museum is continuing to offer state-of-the-art exhibitions including demonstrations on the social and economic growth of NYC. Visitors are encouraged to look at the projects including “Capitol of Capitol” which deals directly with New York banks and their effect on the global economy and “From Farm to City” which showcases Staten Island and its change from rural farmland to an urban center. The Museum of the City of New York is a phenomenal experience and a treasured look at one of the most fascinating cities in the world.
    Museum of American Finance, Lower Manhattan
  48 Wall Street - New York, NY             
Money - to think of America and New York City, is to think of money. No other single object has been such a driving force for power and prestige than money. The Museum of American Finance houses a collaborative history celebrating money and the American free-enterprise system. Walking into the brass and concrete entrance you will see several displays focused on the growth of American commerce and the spirit of entrepreneurship. Visitors have the opportunity to look at many of the economic issues that have faced America, including exhibits dedicated to the history of money and the stock market. Spring 2012 brings two new exhibits to the museum. “Checks & Balances” focuses on the presidential side of economic security and the issues each president has faced. The second exhibit is the credit crisis which focuses on the bottoming of the stock market in 2007 and displays the vast change that resulted in the American financial institution over the last few years. The Museum of American Finance, Manhattan, is a unique perspective into a hub of the United States. If you wish to understand more about money and the desire to better the economy, then definitely make a stop in here.
    Museum of Television & Radio, Midtown
  25 West 52nd Street - New York, NY           
Amidst the hustle and bustle of busy midtown Manhattan lays a tribute to the history of television and radio known as the Paley Center for Media (formerly known as The Museum of Television and Radio). Far from your typical museum, you will not find artifacts hidden behind glass enclosures or many “do not touch signs” here. Instead you will be delighted to find screening rooms, and a vast media collection from which you can choose an actual program and view it. Visitors are allowed to a selection of up to four programs per visit. There are also two, full-sized theatres which often feature public programs, so check the schedule and make sure you time your visit to catch one. This Manhattan museum also offers many family and educational programs. The “Re-Creating Radio Workshop”, teaches children (over 9) and adults to produce and re-create old time radio dramas, with the use of scripts, music and a variety of sound effects. This is a fun way for parents and children to experience media in the way that their grandparents used to enjoy the new world of multi-media. And if you remember the early days of broadcasting, come and reminisce the magic of your youthful imagination. The Paley Center really has something for everyone!
    The Hispanic Society of America, Harlem+
  613 West 155th Street - New York, NY           
Two beautiful lion sculptures perched on pedestals in all their majesty, greet you at the entrance of the Hispanic Society of America, upon walking up the grand stairs and into a world of vast history and culture. Amazingly enough, the admission at this Manhattan museum is free, in addition to the wealth of resources they provide for the curious mind. The vast collections here are unparalleled, with information on nearly every aspect of culture in Spain, Portugal and Latin America. Boasting many archeological artifacts, paintings and sculptures, one will be awestruck at the beauty surrounding them. Just stepping inside this Manhattan museum provides great insight to the Spanish culture. Stop in and take a look at the wide variety of earthenware and porcelain artifacts from other museums. The collection of textiles is among the best in the world, with a fascinating selection of rare carpets that captivate and educate one in the history of each one-of-a-kind piece. If you are seeking to advance your understanding, gain a sense of self and your culture, or you if are simply desirous of surrounding yourself in the rich culture and beauty that abounds in this world, stop in for a spring or summer 2012 visit.
    New Museum Of Contemporary Art, The, Greenwich Village+
  583 Broadway - New York, NY             
Bright displays and unique settings make the scene at Manhattan’s only contemporary art museum in the New Museum of Contemporary Art. This New York City Museum is distinctive, embodying traditional thought processes of those of contemporary artists in an impactful display much different than your traditional plate glass and roped off museum. The museum itself is open to the public with a vast variety of unique pieces and constantly has new things for visitors of all types to see. This Manhattan museum sports all kinds of exhibitions, ranging from sculptures, music and art of all sorts whether traditional or abstract. Contemporary Art is exploding with a creative variety that gives a little bit of something for all art lovers and art novices alike. Visitors under 18 can enter for free, and new exhibits continue to arrive in the Summer 2012. These new exhibits will be including work by Ellen Altfest, Phyllida Barlow, Tacita Dean, and other great talents from overseas. The New Museum of Contemporary Art promises to give a matchless and lasting memory for its visitors and expand our knowledge to a broad spectrum of creativity from around the world.
    Statue of Liberty Museum, Lower Manhattan
  Liberty Island - New York, NY           
What speaks to American Freedom quite like the Statue of Liberty? Liberty Island, right off the coast of Manhattan, hosts this world famous landmark that has been featured as an American symbol of freedom for generations. Inside the statue itself is an amazing museum experience unlike anything in the world. This Lower Manhattan museum has an extensive collection of the history behind the statue and offers an insight into the hows and whys of the construction of the monument. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the various chambers of the statue and gaze upon the many exhibits including looks at some of the dismantled original pieces such as the original torch which is now inside. An added attraction is the Ranger tours which take visitors around the island itself while enlightening and explaining the immense wealth of knowledge associated with the statue. Although closed through Summer 2012 due to renovation, visitors can still see many of the museum’s pieces including the special American Chopper “Liberty Bike” now housed in a special outdoor exhibit. No trip to New York is complete without visiting the Statue of Liberty and of course the Statue of Liberty Museum.
    Museum of Chinese American, Greenwich Village+
  70 Mulberry Street - New York, NY             
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The Museum of Chinese in America has the distinction of being one of the first museums to provide a link between the enriched Chinese culture and American society. Located in Manhattan, the Museum of Chinese in America strives to be a model amongst interactive museums and provides a cultural experience unlike many others in New York City. The museum itself curates and displays an expanded collection in a variety of innovative ways. Want to learn about the Chinese immigrants living in California? Why not watch it in a multimedia production available on the main floor. Want to bring a Chinese fieldtrip to school? Take advantage of the museum’s educational programs and curriculum. The museum also offers oral histories and firsthand accounts through its community workshops and projects giving visitors a strong sense of what the Chinese culture is all about. Spring 2012 continues in the traditions of innovative exhibits by featuring new displays focusing on the Tiananmen Square massacre, the history of Chinatown, and a walk through Chinese America in the Artists Talk series. The belief is that by increasing local and global dialogues, New Yorkers and Chinese alike will promote wellness and shape a better tomorrow. The Museum of Chinese in America is dedicated to doing just that.
    Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Upper East Side
  2 East 91st Street - New York, NY              
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What is more life-like than life itself? The Cooper-Hewitt Museum in Manhattan asks this very question and provides a look at both the contemporary and historic design that helped shape our nation and the world. As part of the Smithsonian, one can expect an immense amount of information available for patrons that walk into this New York City museum. The curators strive to generate a more educational understanding of design and seek to show perspectives often overlooked by more conventional wisdom. The beauty of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum is not just within the museum itself but in the numerous programs endorsed by them as well. Visitors may find themselves in the design center watching today’s architects and designers formulating plans for tomorrow. They may find themselves in one of the museum’s renovation programs such as the Summer 2012 project on the Carnegie Mansion. Visitors may even find themselves attending special travelling exhibits endorsed by the museum such as the special summer exhibition of “Graphic Design-Now In Production” featured on Governors Island. The Cooper-Hewitt Museum is a very special destination and a true cultural landmark for any New York City experience.
    Madame Tussaud's, Midtown
  234 West 42nd Street - New York, NY              
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What do Justin Bieber, the Queen of England and Mike Tyson all have in common? Honored positions at the world renowned Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Take the entire family for stimulating, intriguing, and “don’t look now but is that…?” experiences in the heart of Manhattan. Featuring some of the most brilliant waxwork in the world, Madame Tussaud’s takes you beyond fiction and places you alongside your favorite actors, athletes and celebrities. Spring 2012 takes this New York City museum to a whole new level with exhibits including the new Marvel 4D experience. This multi-level display not only features your favorite Marvel superheroes but also includes a special effects laden movie extravaganza that is sure to take your breath away. Another special attraction this season is the very special display dedicated to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Capturing the duo as they were at the BAFTA awards, you will forget that you are looking at two wax sculptures and instead find yourself whisked to the red carpet with royalty themselves. This, and many more exhibits, feature an absolutely unbelievable array of displays that makes any trip to New York’s Madame Tussaud’s an unforgettable experience.
    Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Upper West Side
  91 Orchard Street - New York, NY            
Many Americans can trace their ancestral roots to immigration through the New York system. The Lower East Side Tenement Museum offers an opportunity to understand directly what their families went through. This Manhattan museum delivers a remarkable re-creation of New York City’s past. Apart from the traditional glass-housed displays, the museum goes above and beyond, featuring several reconstructed apartments that show the day-to-day life of New York immigrants. Complete with actors and actresses, these apartments allow visitors to assume the role of a newly arrived immigrant and interact as if they were really there. The tours of the apartments even give visitors the opportunity to handle the household objects and completely blur the line between yesterday and today. Summer 2012 goes a step further with a walking tour of the Lower East Side, providing a firsthand account of the when’s, where’s and why’s of immigrants in Manhattan. Another feature during the summer will be a series of educational lectures from today’s immigrants, providing a fresh perspective on the reasons for immigration and the hardships of migration. Unlike many more traditional museums, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum is a fully interactive experience that must be seen to be believed. Easily accessed from all of New York, one must make the time to find out exactly where their families came from.
    Metropolitan Museum of Art, Upper East Side
  5th Avenue & 82nd Street - New York, NY             
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George Bellows - November 15, 2012–February 18, 2013. Accompanied by a catalogue and an Audio Guide. Gallery 999. George Bellows (1882–1925) was regarded as one of America's greatest artists when he died, at the age of forty-two, from a ruptured appendix. Bellows's early fame rested on his powerful depictions of boxing matches and gritty scenes of New York City's tenement life, but he also painted cityscapes, seascapes, war scenes, and portraits, and made illustrations and lithographs that addressed many of the social, political, and cultural issues of the day. Featuring some one hundred works from Bellows's extensive oeuvre, this landmark loan exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of the artist's career in nearly half a century. It invites the viewer to experience the dynamic and challenging decades of the early twentieth century through the eyes of a brilliant observer.
Once you step between the doors of this monumental edifice of man’s artistic achievement, you enter into a living body of culture and civilization collected from the four corners of the earth. Ancient Egyptian artifacts, Japanese silk tapestries, Mediaeval Chess pieces, oils and watercolors of Van Gogh, Turner, Rembrandt and Chagal, Collections of Native American art and crafts through the centuries, the opportunities are endless for seeing the wonders of man’s imagination and creative genius. The MET is a NY tourist attraction that holds tours for school classes, seminars on the restoration of ancient shards of daily life, and places you in the midst of cultures from around the world without ever having to step foot on a plane. Where else can you go and enjoy scrumptious art like Faberge eggs, the celebration of baseball in the collection of player cards or imagine yourself wrapped in a mummy cloth. Open every day but Monday and easy to get to, there is every reason in the world to come to the MET, the center of Manhattan museums and culture, spend the day and even eat some of the most delicious food in The City. The main building, often referred to simply as "the Met," is one of the world's largest art galleries, and has a much smaller second location in Upper Manhattan, at "The Cloisters," which features medieval art.
    New-York Historical Society, Upper East Side
  170 Central Park West - New York, NY              
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The Society is dedicated to presenting exhibitions and public programs, and fostering research that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, its holdings cover four centuries of American history, and include one of the world’s greatest collections of historical artifacts, American art and other materials documenting the history of the United States as seen through the prism of New York City and State.
Forty thousand of the Society’s most treasured pieces are on permanent display in the Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture, and a self-guided audio tour brings these artifacts to life with anecdotes and stories. Our collections provide the foundation for exploration of the nation’s richly layered past and support the Society’s mission to provide a forum for debate and examination of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history.
    Chelsea Art Museum, Greenwich Village+
  556 West 22 - New York, NY             
Home of the Miotte Foundation, is committed to an exploration of “art within a context.” This approach favors a program of exhibitions which reflect contemporary human experience across a broad spectrum of cultural, social, environmental and geographical contexts. CAM’s exhibitions, each supported by a rich series of related cultural events and educational programs, seek to support in both its artists and audiences a sense of creativity, community and cultural exchange.
    Children's Museum Of Manhattan, Upper West Side
  212 West 83rd Street - Manhattan - New York, NY            
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Children, as much as anyone, need a place to go where they can experience the world and explore the possibilities of science, art and society. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan gives families an opportunity to not only have a fun-filled and interactive museum experience but also to help jumpstart their child’s education. Located on the upper west side, the museum features some of the most unique and diverse exhibits in New York City. Children may find themselves in the EatSleepPlay center which allows them to build healthier lifestyles by experiencing hands-on the various functions of the human body. The family can then go to a live performance from a variety of top flight Broadway artists that all have a positive and enhancing message. In Spring 2012 the Children’s Museum celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by looking at various artists and writers who have helped shape the Pacific Asian culture. These artists and writers will be presented in such a way that children will grasp the concepts behind the work and help further stimulate their own thirsts for knowledge and understanding. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is a great time for the kid and the kid at heart and welcomes all families to their door.
    Morris-Jumel Mansion, Harlem+
  65 Jumel Terrace - New York, NY           
It's true! Washington made his headquarters here at the Mansion during the fall of 1776. It was during this period that the General's troops forced a British retreat at the Battle of Harlem Heights. The house was built eleven years before the Revolution, in 1765, by British Colonel Roger Morris and his American wife, Mary Philipse. The breezy hilltop location proved an ideal location for the family's summer home. Known as Mount Morris, this northern Manhattan estate stretched from the Harlem to the Hudson Rivers and covered more than 130 acres. Loyal to the crown, the Morrises were eventually forced to return to England as a result of the American victory.
    American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side
  Central Park West at 79th Street - New York, NY             
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The Museum boasts habitat groups of African, Asian and North American mammals, the full-size model of a Blue Whale suspended in the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life (reopened in 2003), the 62-foot Haida carved and painted war canoe from the Pacific Northwest, and the "Star of India", the largest blue sapphire in the world. The circuit of an entire floor is devoted to vertebrate evolution, including the world-famous dinosaurs.
The Museum's anthropological collections are also outstanding: Halls of Asian Peoples and of Pacific Peoples, of Man in Africa, Native Americans in the United States collections, general Native American collections, and collections from Mexico and Central America.
The Hayden Planetarium, connected to the museum, is now part of the Rose Center for Earth and Space, housed in a glass cube containing the spherical Space Theater, designed by James Stewart Polshek. The Center was opened February 19, 2000. Source
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