New-York Historical Society Expansion Begins; New Details

ny history democracy wing

The New-York Historical Society new wing and renovation by Robert A.M. Stern Architects as viewed from 76th Street. Image courtesy of Alden Studios for Robert A.M. Stern Architects.

History buffs, get excited. Construction is set to begin on the New-York Historical Society’s newest wing.

The nearly 80,000 square foot Democracy Wing is set to open in 2026 and will play host to spaces for conservation, learning and exhibition, including the American LQBTQ+ Museum, which will occupy the top floor.


Other exhibitions include the Klingenstein Family Gallery, designed to highlight monumental works of art, and the Stuart and Jane Weitzman Shoe Museum, which will house 150 pairs of historic shoes in order to showcase the evolution of women’s footwear over two centuries in parallel with changes in women’s lives.

It will also play host to multiple educational spaces. One of them, the Tang Center For American Democracy, will allow the NYHS to expand its American History education program tenfold, increasing the number of sixth graders served annually from 3,000 to 30,000. Another, the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Center for Teaching Democracy, has been described by NYHS as “a crucial space where teachers can come together with scholars and museum professionals for in-depth explorations of history, political theory, and engaging pedagogy.”

But the NYHS isn’t just for teaching history, it’s also for preserving it. Which is why the Democracy Wing will contain a state of the art conservation studio with natural light and advanced ventilation, specifically designed to protect paintings and historical documents. Many of those nearly 10 million historical documents are currently being held offsite due to lack of space, but that’s all going to change thanks to a new library stack storage tower.


The Democracy Wing is being built on the lot next to the Historical Society which was purchased by the Society’s Trustees back in 1937. For those who are worried the new wing might clash with the old one, NYHS says the new wing will be constructed using granite from the same quarry that provided the stone for the original building nearly 114 years ago.

“As we look ahead, our new wing will serve as a beacon for democracy education, a powerhouse of inclusive history, and a home for history enthusiasts of all backgrounds and perspectives,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, New-York Historical’s president and CEO. “We look forward to seeing Robert A. M. Stern Architects’ design, which was crafted with extraordinary skill and sensitivity, come to realization.”


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