Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

New York Historical Society

New York, New York


The proposal to provide a new mixed-use facility addition to the existing landmarked New-York Historical Society building includes plans to expand the existing space with new rooftop and annex additions and the creation of a new residential tower. The 21-story tower has been carefully sited to both preserve the unique presence of the existing landmark museum and to minimize any impact on the neighboring residential buildings. The tower massing has been made elegantly thin and is set back from the front façade of the museum to create a clear separation from the museum’s landmarked architecture.

The service core of the tower does not intrude on the original museum but is pushed back to the far west end of the tower. This “side core” configuration maximizes views of Central Park from all floors of the tower and minimizes the core’s impact on the original museum structure. The east end of the tower hovers over the museum and is supported in a manner that minimally impacts the existing museum by way of a structural pin that fits within the museum.

The museum’s new annex structure features a masonry façade that is visually compatible with the existing landmarked museum and neighboring buildings. The ground floor of the annex structure accesses a new auditorium through a dedicated lobby. In addition to this separate entrance, the auditorium can be accessed directly from the museum. The auditorium also features back-of-house and support space for the museum as well as a full-size loading dock with a service elevator that connects to existing and new museum spaces on all levels. The second floor of the annex provides new spaces for the Historical Society’s Prints and Photographs collection and additional archival stacks.

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