Found in 1804, the New-York Historical Society has been through many changes and locations. The museum had presented plans to Community Board 7 in May for approval to create a four-story addition in the vacant lot on West 76th Street. The museum was granted approval and is now making big plans for the space.
The 70,000 square foot expansion will include an entire floor dedicated to the history and culture of the L.G.B.T.Q. community in New York City. This will be formed in partnership with the American L.G.B.T.Q.+ Museum, “a new collaboration dedicated to preserving, researching, and sharing LGBTQ+ history and culture.”
“We’re delighted to partner with New York’s foremost museum of history to build a new museum dedicated to an exploration and celebration of the richness and diversity of LGBTQ+ history and culture in America,” Richard Burns, the chair of the board of directors for the American LGBTQ+ Museum, said in a statement. “The respect and rigor with which New-York Historical has approached this process, including their consultation with local communities, mirrors our own commitment to building a thoughtful, welcoming, queer, and inclusive experience for our visitors and partners.”
The addition to the museum will not be about pop culture L.G.B.T.Q. celebrities, but will focus on the real lives on New Yorkers and the history of the queer movement in the five boroughs of the city. A group of L.G.B.T.Q. leaders banded together years ago to make this vision become a reality.
“Suddenly we’ve reached this moment, a tipping point where more and more people are saying, ‘We better record this history, integrate it and celebrate it before we lose it,’” Richard Burns told the New York Times.
Other additions to the museum will include classroom space for the Academy for American Democracy, which will host upwards of 30,000 sixth-grade students from around the New York City area, as well as an upgraded space for the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library. Most of the documents from the library had to be moved from the original space because they were not being kept in the proper environment.
The museum will also expand on education opportunities for graduate students from their Society’s Master of Arts in Museum Studies program. The program’s mission is to create opportunities for diversity in the field.
The project is slated for completion around 2024.