The Skyscraper Museum
the Skyscraper Museum
The Skyscraper Museum

The Skyscraper Museum is devoted to the study of high-rise building, past, present, and future. The Museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence. This site will look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.


The Skyscraper Museum, now located in a permanent gallery in Lower Manhattan, inhabited four temporary spaces from 1997 to 2003. The inaugural exhibition, DOWNTOWN NEW YORK, ran from April through December 1997 at 44 Wall Street, a vacant banking hall in New York's historic financial district. In 1998, the Museum moved to the historic (but since destroyed) Art Deco banking hall at 16 Wall Street in THE BANKERS TRUST BUILDING, where the Museum's second and third exhibits, BUILDING THE EMPIRE STATE (October 1998 through September 1999) and BIG BUILDINGS (October through December 1999) were mounted.

The Museum’s third location, from 2000-2001, was located in a commercial storefront at 110 Maiden Lane provided by Rudin Management. There we presented DESIGN DEVELOPMENT: TIMES SQUARE, featuring architectural models for six new Times Square towers. The gallery was closed after September 11th, 2001, when our space was used as an emergency information center to assist downtown businesses. From September 2001 to March 2004, the Museum was provided office space at 55 Broad Street, also by Rudin Management.


the site in lower manhattan
The site at the southern tip of Battery Park City. Image courtesy of EarthData Solutions.

In March 2004, The Skyscraper Museum opened its permanent home in a building at the southern tip of Battery Park City. The facility occupies ground-floor space in a mixed-use project that includes the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and a 38-story condominium tower. The Museum owns its space, which has been generously donated by Millennium Partners, the building's developers.

Created under planning guidelines of the Battery Park City Authority that require the inclusion of a public amenity as part of each BPC project, the Museum received its 5,000 square-foot gallery space from Millennium Partners, the building's developers. The distinguished firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) is the Museum's architect, with award-winning partner Roger Duffy as lead designer. SOM donated its design services and Tishman Construction Corporation, which has been building New York since 1898, served as Construction Manager pro bono.

the Ritz Carlton exterior
Exterior view of the Ritz-Carlton Downtown. Designed by Gary Edward Handel & Associates in collaboration with Polshek and Partners.

The facility contains two main galleries: one for the core exhibit Skyscraper/City on the evolution of New York's commercial skyline, another for changing shows. With a permanent home, the Museum also began the process of collecting and preserving important artifacts of high-rise history, of organizing an active education program, and of celebrating New York's rich architectural heritage.

With the skyline of Lower Manhattan as its immediate backdrop and the panorama of New York harbor at its front door, the Museum enjoys a site of breathtaking beauty and an unmatched location for cultural tourism and serves as a vital element in the changed landscape of downtown. A short walk from the historic skyscrapers and canyons of lower Broadway and Wall Street, and minutes from the embarkation point of boats to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, the Museum stands at a nexus of past and present that attracts over 10 million tourists annually.

the museum interior
Museum interior view courtesy Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

the museum plan and a model of the space
Museum plan and maquette courtesy Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.