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For many New Yorkers, one of the best parts of living in the city is access to a rich artistic and cultural scene practically right outside the front door. And as pleasurable as it can be to attend a performance or visit a museum, the benefits go beyond a day of fun. According to Create NYC, a comprehensive cultural plan created in 2017, the city's cultural sector - which includes museums and theaters - attracted nearly 30 million visitors in 2015; the same analysis found that international tourists spent $1,786 on culture. Two years later, a report from Comptroller Scott Stringer found that New York City's arts and cultural industry generates $110 billion, or 13 percent of the city's total economic activity.

"New York City is the artistic and creative epicenter of the country and, in many respects, the world" - The Creative Economy report

New York's arts, entertainment, and cultural industries were hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic and the efforts to contain it, which included Broadway going dark and the suspension of live performances. In recognition of the gravity of the situation, then-Governor Cuomo declared, "We must bring arts and culture back to life" in his State of the State address before announcing a public-private partnership known as the New York Arts Revival.

Additionally, as part of the Key to NYC initiative, New Yorkers were required to show proof of vaccination in order to enter such venues as theaters, museums, and exhibition halls. This encouraged vaccination, ensured the safety of visitors, and made people more likely to attend. We take a look at reopened museums, new cultural institutions and works of art, and renovations and expansions in the works throughout New York.

Apollo Theater renovation

Completion estimated for spring 2025
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Apollo Theater update Lobby sketch (Apollo Theater)
On the same day the Apollo Theater announced that longtime President and CEO Jonelle Procope would step down in June 2023, they also announced that their world-famous performance venue would undergo a transformative renovation helmed by Beyer Blinder Belle and done in collaboration with theater, acoustics, and digital consultants Charcoalblue and Flyleaf Creative. The renovation is set to include improvements to the building’s exterior, the restoration of a built-in orchestra pit, expanding the lobby to include a new cafe and bar, upgrading to more efficient HVAC systems, updating the lighting and sound systems, adding and upgrading theater seating.

As the Apollo Theater is a New York City Landmark, the renovation cannot take place without the approval of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. If everything goes according to plan, work is expected to commence in spring 2024 with the first programming taking place a year later. While renovations are underway, programming will take place on the Soundstage and at the Victoria Theater.

Bronx Museum schematic

Completion estimated for 2025
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Bronx-Museum-01 Rendering of The Bronx Museum (Marvel Architects)
At the beginning of November 2022, Marvel revealed a schematic for the renovation of The Bronx Museum. This calls for elegantly integrating the north and south wings of the South Atrium for a singular and cohesive experience. Jonathan Marvel said in a statement that their goal was to blur the boundaries of building and sidewalk; to that end, the main entrance will be relocated to the highly visible Grand Concourse and 165th Street, and the reimagined lobby will include large, street-facing displays for rotating installations.
Bronx Museum
Bronx Museum

Bronx Children's Museum

Opening to the public December 3, 2022
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Bronx Children's Museum (NYC Department of Design and Construction)
The Bronx had long been the only one of the five boroughs without a permanent children's museum, but that changed this fall. The design by O’Neill McVoy Architects was inspired by psychologist Jean Piaget's Child's Conception of Space; as such, the interior spaces are designed in perspective from a child's height and distinguished by low partitions that maximize visibility for caregivers while creating a rich spatial experience for children. The main exhibition space is divided into three primary areas - Early Learner, Community Arts, and Natural Sciences - and the interiors are distinguished by the use of natural materials. A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on November 16, and it will open to the public on December 3 in what Bronx Community Board 4 Chair Robert Garméndiz calls "an early Christmas present" to the children of the borough.
Bronx Children's Museum

White Cube

Completion estimated for spring 2023
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1002-Madison-Avenue-01 Rendering (White Cube)
Down the street from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim, British gallery White Cube will open its first New York outpost at 1002 Madison Avenue in the Upper East Side Historic District. The new space will be set across three stories in the circa-1930 bank building, and feature public gallery spaces and private viewing areas alike. Landmarks approved the alterations to the entrance and windows in June 2022, and the planned 2023 opening would coincide with the 30th anniversary of White Cube, which has brought artists like Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Theaster Gates, and Julie Curtiss to prominence.

African Grove Theatre

Completion estimated for 2023
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Long before New York University announced plans for a state-of-the-art new building at 181 Mercer Street, it was the site of the African Grove Theatre, a 300-seat space that was the first Black theatre in the country. More than 100 years later, the new building will include a new theatre named the African Grove Theatre and used to host ongoing NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting and Design for Stage and Film programs. theatrical performance, historical displays, and educational programming. It will also feature a scale model of the original African Grove Theatre.
181-Mercer-Street Rendering of 181 Mercer Street (New York University)

L10 Arts and Cultural Center
300-Ashland-Place-03 The new arts and cultural center will be inside the base of the mixed-use rental 300 Ashland Place (Alan Karchmer/Ten Arquitectos)
300 Ashland Place is a stone's throw from Barclays Center, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and Mark Morris Dance Group. However, the L10 Arts and Cultural Center brings a 50,000-square-foot cultural center right under its roof. Plans have been in the works since Two Trees Management bought the onetime parking lot in 2013, and it will include new gallery and performance spaces for MoCADA, three cinemas for BAM, rehearsal studios and performance space for 651 ARTS, and a new branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.
300-Ashland-Place-01 Renderings of L10 Arts and Cultural Center (TEN Arquitectos and Andrea Steele Architecture)

Completion estimated for 2025
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MOCA museum New building rendering (Museum of Chinese in America/ © 2022 Maya Lin Studio with Bialosky New York)
In spring 2022, more than two years after a devastating fire at its research offices and archives, the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) unveiled renderings of a new building by acclaimed architect and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Maya Lin. The building's design was inspired by vertical Chinese landscape paintings and traditional tangram puzzles, and perforated panels will allow light to strategically enter the spaces. The museum's permanent collection will be housed on the third through fourth floors, and the new building will feature a center for research and genealogy, a theater, classrooms, a cooking demonstration kitchen, a canteen, and outdoor gathering spaces.
MOCA museum Chinatown
MOCA collection

ABC No Rio

Completion TBA
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156-Rivington-Street-01 The building's exterior will feature solar panels and a planted screen (ABC No Rio via Paul A. Castrucci Architect)
Ever since the 1980s, ABC No Rio has been known as a Lower East Side community of artists and activists. Its existing space is in serious disrepair, and the new building promises to double the size of its gallery and performance spaces. It is also set to become one of New York's first commercial buildings constructed to Passive House standards, and its design by Paul A. Castrucci Architect will feature a high-performance building envelope, high-performance windows, a heat-recovery ventilation system, a grey-water recycling system, energy efficient lighting, a solar photovoltaic system, a planting screen, and a green roof.
156-Rivington-Street Gallery rendering (Paul A. Castrucci Architect)
ABC No Rio

TSX Broadway and the Palace Theater raising

Completion estimated for 2023
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From its earliest days as a vaudeville theater, “playing the Palace” meant reaching the pinnacle of one’s entertainment career. The venue and phrase made a comeback in the 1950s, when Judy Garland held her shows there, and the Nederlander Organization purchased the theater in 1964. Since then, its Broadway productions have included Sweet Charity, La Cage aux Folles, Beauty and the Beast, Aida, Legally Blonde, and An American in Paris.
Its most recent act is perhaps its most impressive: As part of new hotel and retail tower TSX Broadway, the historic theater was raised 30 feet above street level to make way for 100,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space underneath. A ring beam was placed around the theater, and 34 hydraulic jacks lifted the ring beam at a speed of about a quarter inch per hour. The process took about seven weeks and was completed in spring 2022. From there, the theater will undergo a $50 million renovation that includes expanding the dressing room and backstage areas.
The Palace Theater before being encased within a skyscraper
The Palace Theater nestled inside the tower
TSX The Palace Theater lift, January 2022
When TSX Broadway is complete, theatergoers will arrive through a grand entrance and take an express escalator to the third floor. They will arrive in a spacious lobby with a new bar, box office, and merchandise area. The theater will include 1,657 modern seats and double the number of restrooms it previously had. But for all the changes, the landmarked interiors will be refurbished and the grand chandelier will be restored to its original location.
The raised and refurbished Palace Theater is but one component of TSX Broadway. The project will feature an indoor/outdoor performance stage overlooking Times Square, and the massive LED screens (now on the way up) will make for truly unforgettable experience. TSX Broadway also will also include a 669-key Tempo by Hilton, interactive LED signage at the top, and the largest outdoor food and beverage terrace in Times Square.
TSX Broadway
TSX TSX's screen stage

92NY rebrand and renovation

Completion TBD
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92nd-Street-Y Rendering of the updated Buttenweiser Hall (Beyer Blinder Belle)
92nd Street Y Rendering of the renovated May Center lobby (Beyer Blinder Belle)
At the height of the coronavirus pandemic in spring 2020, New York’s cultural institutions were forced to close their doors. However, that is not to say that programming ceased at Upper East Side mainstay 92nd Street Y: They quickly pivoted to digital performances, readings, interviews, and lectures. In doing so, they were able to attract a global audience well beyond New York.

The experience prompted the 92nd Street Y to rebrand itself as 92NY (full name: 92nd Street Y, New York) with the tagline “Where New York meets the world” (h/t/ Gothamist). This involves a $200 million, top-to-bottom renovation of the Upper East Side campus, to be done in stages so as to keep the doors open. The groundbreaking for the first phase took place in July 2022, and this is set to include a full renovation of performance space Buttenweiser Hall, a new, state-of-the-art dance center, and upgraded facilities in the May Center gym.

Top of the Rock enhancements

Completion TBD
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30-Rockefeller-Center Skylift platform
It took a few tries, but the Landmarks Preservation Commission ("Landmarks") unanimously approved a series of enhancements to 30 Rockefeller Center’s Top of the Rock at the end of April 2022. The observatory is already a must-see for tourists all over the world, but Commissioner Sarah Carroll said, “I think allowing for new circulation and these activities on the roof will even help support the recovery of the city.”
The activities include a new “skylift” platform, a circular glass platform that lifts visitors above the 70th story to look out on 360-degree city views. An experience inspired by “Lunch atop a Skyscraper,” the iconic 1932 photograph, will include a movable “beam” where visitors can be seated, strapped in, raised, and rotated. (The Architect’s Newspaper quips that there is “no word on whether a brown bag lunch is included.”) Additionally, a kinetic globe will act as a rooftop beacon and be programmed to change with the arrival of guests.
30-Rockefeller-Plaza-01 Images via Tishman Speyer
Amidst all this, the red tiles on the roof will be replaced with mosaic tilework in a celestial design, a motif seen throughout Rockefeller Center. The plans also include upgrading the lobby and moving the ticketed entrance to an existing storefront. Construction has not yet started, and an opening estimate was not provided.

One Times Square renovation

Completion estimated for 2024
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One Times Square revamp One Times Square
One Times Square is known all over the world as the site of the New Year’s Eve ball drop, and owner Jamestown recently announced a $500 million revamp of the 118-year-old tower that, in the words of Times Square Alliance president Tom Harris, “will bring New Year’s Eve to Times Square 365 days a year.”
One Times Square was originally built as headquarters for The New York Times, and has largely been inaccessible to the public since then. The redevelopment seeks to change that with an indoor, 12-story visitors center. Six stories will be dedicated to a museum of the building’s history, and companies will be able to buy space on the other six stories dedicated to immersive experiences (think the wildly popular, interactive Van Gogh exhibit). It will also include an outdoor viewing deck overlooking Times Square.
The evolution of a once great building
The once impressive Beaux-Arts building is now naked of billboards, baring its full 1960s-reclad glory.
One-Times-Square One Times Square renderings (Jamestown)
One Times Square plaza Aerial view of the public plaza
While the ball drop will still take place and the world-famous LED signs (some of the world’s most valuable advertising space) will remain in place during construction, billboards near the bottom of the building have already been removed to make way for a new facade and new windows. The project also includes a new subway entrance, which recently opened, and a new public plaza on the tower’s east side.

David Geffen Hall renovation

Completed in October 2022
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Lincoln Center David Geffen Hall David Geffen Hall (Lincoln Center)
When the renovation of David Geffen Hall was first announced in December 2019, Lincoln Center said that construction would start in 2022, take place around the New York Philharmonic’s seasons so as to avoid disruptions, and be completed in 2024. However, with concerts curtailed and buildings shuttered due to the pandemic, construction was able to start sooner and proceed at such a pace that it is now expected to reopen in October 2022, or two years ahead of schedule.
Renderings show a much more aesthetically pleasing building by Diamond Schmitt Architects and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects that places a greater emphasis on public space. The Philharmonic’s concert hall has long been reviled for its acoustic problems, but a master acoustician was part of the renovation effort; the walls are being resurfaced to improve resonance. Additionally, in response to health and safety concerns raised by the pandemic, the project features upgraded HVAC and air filtration systems.
David Geffen Hall

Pier 57

Completion estimated for spring 2023
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In April 2022, a new rooftop park opened to the public at Pier 57, located on the Hudson River waterfront just up the road from Little Island (see below). The 80,000-square-foot park is home to new green space and seating areas, and is set to serve as an outdoor screening location for the Tribeca Film Festival starting this year.
Pier 57 is already home to a City Winery flagship wine bar/performance space (relocated from Hudson Square) and 350,000 square feet of office space for Google. Next spring, it is expected to welcome a new “public living room,” environmental tech classrooms for Hudson River Park’s River Project educators, and a new food market curated by the James Beard Foundation.
Pier 57 Hudson River Park
Pier-57-01 Pier 57 (Hudson River Park)

Afro Latin Music & Arts Center

Completion TBD
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Timbale-Terrace-01 Timbale Terrace rendering via Lantern Organization, Mega Development, Urban Architectural Initiatives, HPD
In August 2021, the New York City Department of Housing and Development announced some of the first major new developments under the East Harlem rezoning approved in 2017. Among them was Timbale Terrace, a new mixed-use development set to rise on a former NYPD 25th Precinct parking site. It will feature 330 affordable housing units (99 of which will be set aside for formerly homeless residents) and a 16,000-square-foot Afro Latin Music & Arts (ALMA) Center.

The ALMA Center will be developed by the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance in partnership with Lantern House and Mega Development. This will be East Harlem’s first performing arts center dedicated to Afro Latin music and arts, and its offerings will include community programs and event space, music and technical program training, after-school programs, free arts education classes, live performances, a recording studio, an archival library, and a cafe.

Moreover, the ALMA Center will allow the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance to expand its programming, consolidate its operations and performances, and reach a wider audience. It has expressed interest in working with other local arts and cultural organizations, including Art for Change, the Association of Hispanic Arts, El Museo del Barrio, La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriquena, Speaking in Rhythms, and Taller Boricua PR Workshop.

Completion TBD
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New-York-Historical-Society-01 All renderings via Robert A.M. Stern Architects for Landmarks Preservation Commission
The New York Historical Society has sought to expand since 1983, but its status as a “triple landmark” (an individual landmark located in the Central Park West-76th Street Historic District and the Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District) meant this could not proceed without Landmarks' approval. Last summer, though, a proposal warmly greeted by city officials and local preservationists alike received unanimous Landmarks approval, clearing the way for the expansion to move forward.

The expansion is set to rise on a parcel of land purchased by the Historical Society in the 1930s for the express purpose of building an annex, and a presentation by Robert A.M. Stern Architects notes that the quarry that provided stone for the original design is still open and would provide materials for the expansion. Upon completion, it will feature a new stack tower, new gallery and classroom space, expanded on-site conservation functions, mezzanine office space, an outdoor sculpture garden, and a top-floor gallery to serve as the home of the first LGBTQ+ Museum in the United States.

Opened November 2022
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Museum-of-Broadway-01 Rendering via Museum of Broadway
Musicals and plays were not the only Broadway productions deferred by the pandemic: The Museum of Broadway was originally expected to open in 2020, but got pushed to this fall. Partners Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Playbill, the Al Hirschfeld Foundation, Concord Theatricals, and Goodspeed Musicals approached it with the goal of making it the ultimate theater-lover’s destination.

The Museum of Broadway is the first museum ever dedicated to Broadway’s history. A map room will trace the migration of the city’s theaters uptown from the Financial District to Union Square, then Herald Square, and finally Times Square. A timeline detailing the earliest Broadway shows to present-day productions will feature memorabilia obtained with the help of the Billy Rose Theater Division of the New York Public Library for Performing Arts; additionally, installations created by visual artists and Broadway designers will take place alongside this section. Finally, a “stage door” will open into an area that details the making of a Broadway show both onstage and off. Additional components include a fully equipped rehearsal studio and a gift shop open to the public. It has opened next to the Lyceum Theater, Broadway’s oldest continually operating theater and home of the Tony Award-winning A Strange Loop.

Completion estimated for spring 2024
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Rendering credit: Luxigon, National Black Theater
Construction has officially commenced on Ray Harlem, a new Harlem building that will include a new, permanent, state-of-the-art home for the National Black Theater, which is the oldest Black theater owned and operated by a Black woman. The multi-floor space is set to include a 250-seat flexible temple space, a 99-seat studio theater, classrooms, and offices. Moreover, developer Ray is working with the National Black Theater on an Artist Housing Initiative that will create better access to housing for local artists and creatives; this program will be central to the 222 apartments on top of the theater.
2033-Fifth-Avenue National Black Theater rendering Rendering credit: Luxigon, National Black Theater

Completed in fall 2022

Cort Theatre Image via Kostow Greenwood Architects
Between its long history of operations dating back to 1912, design inspired by Versailles’ Petit Trianon, and veritable galaxy of stars that have performed there, it is little wonder that the Cort Theater was declared a New York City Landmark in 1987. A restoration and expansion is poised to take it into the 21st century, and it has been renamed in honor of celebrated actor James Earl Jones when it reopens. Mr. Jones' Broadway breakthrough came at the Cort Theater in a 1958 production of Sunrise at Campobello; since then, he won Tony Awards for his roles in The Great White Hope and Fences as well as the Tony's Lifetime Achievement Award.

With the help of Francesca Russo, theatre owner Shubert Organization’s go-to preservation architect for the past 25 years, the Landmarked building had its facade and original proscenium arch restored, its accessibility improved, its stage modernized, and its seating made more comfortable. Immediately west of the theater, the Shubert Organization tapped Kostow Greenwood Architects to design a modern, 20,000-square-foot annex set to streamline the flow of the space. This includes an elevator, new concession areas, more bathrooms, new dressing and wardrobe rooms, and more rehearsal space.

Landmarks approved the alterations and expansion in 2017, but construction did not move forward until spring 2021. Its first show is a production of Ohio State Murders, starring Audra McDonald and marking the Broadway debut of playwright Adrienne Kennedy.

Completed in 2019
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Pace Gallery West Chelsea Pace Gallery
In spring 2017, construction began on a new Chelsea flagship for the Pace Gallery on West 25th Street that would more than double its previous footprint. The design by Bonetti/Kozerski Architecture features a stone facade quarried from Mt. Etna, a contextually sensitive street-level presence, and a contoured white penthouse on top of the black massing.

In a 2018 interview with CityRealty, Pace Gallery Headquarters project director Matteo Fraticelli said, “We wanted to create the possibility of not only showing art on different floors, but also outdoors and indoors.” To that end, the expanded gallery features a 10,000-volume research library on the first floor, five floors of indoor galleries, and a sixth-story terrace gallery that can accommodate performances, live events, sculptural exhibitions, and even small food trucks. The interiors will column-free galleries and a lighting concept by Isometrix Lighting Design that automatically adjusts ambient light to complement specific works.
Pace-Gallery-01 Image via Pace Gallery

Completed in 2021
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Chelsea-Factory-01 Rendering via Chelsea Factory
The transformation of industrial space into art galleries was instrumental in putting Chelsea on the map, and 547 West 26th Street is one such entry. The property previously hosted New York’s first taxi fleets, but would go on to house Annie Leibovitz’s photography studio in the 1990s and a contemporary dance company in the 2000s. Its latest incarnation is as Chelsea Factory, a new space for artists and stories set to usher in a more sustainable and diverse future of the arts.

A presentation calls for two distinctive exhibition halls, new restrooms, and a non-commercial kitchen. Landmarks approved the project with slight modifications in July 2021, finding that the building’s style, scale, materials, and details were consistent with the architectural and historic character of the West Chelsea Historic District. Since its opening, it has welcomed the Juilliard School's Juilliard Jazz Program, and the Joyce Theater.

Completion estimated for 2025
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1014 Fifth Avenue Renderings via 1014
Across the street from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, an early 20th-century Beaux Arts townhouse has served as the center of German culture for decades. It served as the home of the American ambassador to Germany from 1926 to 1951, and was purchased by the German government in 1961. Indeed, 1014 Fifth Avenue is still owned and run by the German government and its New York consulate. The building was the home of Goethe House New York for almost 50 years until its departure in 2009. Since then, 1014 - space for ideas (“1014”; nee German Academy New York Inc.) has been putting on cultural programming in the space.

David Chipperfield Architects won an international competition for the opportunity to design the renovation and restoration of the townhouse. The project is entitled “An Open House” to signify the opening, sharing, and connecting at the core of the building’s mission. It will be organized in public and private areas that overlap in a double-height common room at the center. Additional features will include an exhibition space, a fernery, a garden, and a rooftop terrace.

David Chipperfield Architects will work with KARO Architects and Patarus Group on “An Open House.” Construction is set to begin in 2023; in the meantime, the exhibition “1014 Past and Future” presented the top four architectural plans to the public. A series of lectures, and related Upper East Side walking tours also took place as part of Archtober and Open House New York in fall 2021.

Completion estimated for 2024

Pompidou Center Jersey City Rendering via OMA
In June 2021, the Centre Pompidou raised some eyebrows when it announced plans to open its first North American satellite in Jersey City. However, it made sense to city officials and museum executives alike. Jersey City has been working to establish itself as a center for arts and culture, and a century-old commercial building in Journal Square is set to be transformed into a museum. When it opens, it will present works from the Pompidou’s extensive collection of modern art just a PATH ride away from Midtown.

Completed in 2022
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Powerhouse-Arts-01 Rendering via PBDW Architects
In Gowanus, a 117-year-old coal-burning power plant has been designated a New York City Landmark and transformed into a new contemporary arts center. Graffiti artists dubbed it “the Batcave” and used it as a canvas after the power plant shut down in the 1950s, and the graffiti will be preserved in the new space. It will also show art from five media - metal, wood, print, ceramic, and textiles. Pritzker Prize laureates Herzog & de Meuron teamed up with local firm PBDW Architects to convert the space into galleries with The Grand Hall, an exhibition space/event space, on the top floor. In the fall of 2022, Powerhouse will debut programs for ceramics membership, community engagement, and mission-driven tenant and events rentals.

Opened spring 2021
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Little-Island-01 Rendering of Little Island via CityRealty
Little-Island-02 Little Island circa winter 2021 via CityRealty
In 2014, eyebrows were raised when the Hudson River Park Trust and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation announced plans for a floating public park in the Hudson River off Pier 55. But after its first summer of operations, what was thought to be a far-fetched idea proved to be an appealing destination for locals and tourists alike. Little Island's varying elevations allow for different perspectives from designated overlook areas, and house a stage and 700-seat amphitheater. Tap dancer/choreographer Ayodele Casel, playwright/director Tina Landau, actor/musical director Michael McElroy, and PigPen Theater Co. were named Little Island's first artists-in-residence, and Proenza Schouler held their New York Fashion Week show there.

Completion estimated for 2023
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Frick-Collection-01 Rendering via Beyer Blinder Belle for Landmarks Preservation Commission
When New York’s museums reopened after pandemic-induced closures, the Frick Collection was noticeably absent. This is because the 1914 French Louis XVI-style mansion housing the works of art is undergoing a renovation and expansion with Landmarks’ blessing to accommodate an art collection that has more than doubled since the museum opened its doors in 1935. Since early 2021, though, it has taken a temporary home known as the Frick Madison, in the former space of the Met Breuer. The museum’s director has said this will allow for a new perspective on the art as the expansion begins in earnest, and The New York Times describes it as "an unexpectedly audacious transmutation of the city's plushest museum."

Completion estimated for 2023
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The-Perelman-01 Rendering of The Perelman via REX
The Oculus at World Trade Center hosted outdoor movie nights before Smorgasburg swooped in, but The Perelman is set to go several steps further with live theater, dance, music, and chamber opera performances in Lower Manhattan. The facade will be wrapped in translucent marble from the same Vermont quarry as the United States Supreme Court and the Jefferson Memorial, and will appear bright white by day and glowing from within by night.

The first floor, also known as the Public Level, will host public convening spaces, a lobby stage, and a cafe/bar. The second floor will be called the Performance Level and house such functional space as dressing rooms, a green room, costume and wig storage, and a music room. The Play Level on the third floor will have three flexible performance spaces, an artist rehearsal space, and a patron bar. Construction topped off in June 2021, and exterior work is nearing completion.
The-Perelman-02 World Trade Center, featuring The Perelman, via Compass

Completion estimated for 2022
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Shortly after demolition permits were filed for a six-story building at 231 Bowery, the neighboring New Museum revealed renderings of its replacement, to be designed by Rem Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu of OMA and to double the exhibition space at the SANAA-designed museum. The more transparent new building will add more than 10,000 square feet of gallery space, connect with existing galleries, and connect the lobbies of the two buildings in one large space with an expanded bookstore and 80-seat restaurant.

Completion estimated for 2024
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Studio-Museum-01 Rendering via Adjaye Associates
The Studio Museum of Harlem is devoted to the work of artists of African descent, and would quickly outgrow its first two homes. The previous structure was demolished in February 2020, and work on the first phase of a new design by Sir David Adjaye is underway. The new space will bring more than 17,000 square feet of gallery and exhibition space as well as three studios for artists-in-residence, education spaces, a cafe, a glass-fronted lobby, and a free roof area.

Completion estimated for 2023
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121-West-125th-Street-01 Rendering of the Urban League Empowerment Center, future home of the museum, via Beyer Blinder Belle
In July 2019, Empire State Development announced a new 17-story, 412,105-square-foot development for the heart of Harlem named the Urban League Empowerment Center. In addition to bringing new housing, office space, and retail (including Harlem's first Trader Joe's) to the neighborhood, the project will be the home of the Urban Civil Rights Museum. It will be dedicated to telling the story of civil rights advocacy in the North. Construction began in July 2021 in the wake of a groundbreaking ceremony with Andrew Cuomo, Charles Rangel, and Congressman Adriano Espillat in attendance, and the building topped out in February 2022.

Abolitionist memorial in Willoughby Square Park

Completion TBD

Willoughby-Square-Park-01 Rendering of Willoughby Square Park via Hargreaves Jones/NYCEDC
When Willoughby Square Park opens in Downtown Brooklyn, a key component of the new space will be a permanent public artwork commemorating the neighborhood's abolitionist history. Borough artist Kameelah Janan Rasheed was chosen for the project. Her conceptual proposal has been tabled following a public hearing in January 2021, but she has been encouraged to gather further community feedback. The New York City Economic Development Council is at the helm of the park, and the art installation will be part of the "In Pursuit of Freedom" initiative led by the Brooklyn Historical Society, Weeksville Heritage Center, and Irondale Ensemble Project.

Governors Island redevelopment

Completion estimated for 2030
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Governors-Island-01 Renderings of Governors Island via WXY Architecture
Governors Island has come a long way from its days as a Union barracks and Confederate prison during the Civil War: Since the federal government returned it to the City and State of New York in 2003, it has been transformed into a public park, event space, and picnic spot...and that's just the beginning. Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Trust for Governors Island ("the Trust") announced a partnership to renovate a building into the first permanent home for the arts on the island. A year later, as part of the Mayor's Recovery Agenda, Mayor de Blasio and the Trust announced plans to develop a Center for Climate Solutions.

Completion estimated for November 2022
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St.-Nicholas-Shrine-01 Rendering of St. Nicholas National Shrine via Santiago Calavatra
The original St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in was a row house purchased by Greek immigrants in 1892 as a community home, opened as a church in 1916, and served as an important part of Lower Manhattan for several decades. The church was destroyed in the collapse of the World Trade Center, and would have a sad status as the only house of worship to be destroyed in the terrorist attack. A new church is now getting ready to open across from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, and renderings by Santiago Calavatra give the appearance of "a lamp on a lampstand" (Matthew 5:14). It will continue to function as a parish of the Archdiocese, but will also be a National Shrine with a meditation/bereavement room and community space welcoming all faiths. The church was illuminated this September to honor the lives lost twenty years ago. It was listed among Galerie's most anticipated openings of 2022.

Completion TBA
Current programming here

32-Second-Avenue-01 Rendering of Anthology Film Archives expansion via Bone/Levine Architects
In 1989, Anthology Film Archives opened in the former Third District Magistrates Courthouse as the first museum dedicated to film as an art form. Since then, it has served as a video preservation center, a reference library related to avant-garde cinema, and screening center for films outside the commercial mainstream. Screenings are currently postponed until further notice, but that is not to say Anthology Film Archives has not been busy. It is in the middle of upgrades that will bring upgraded infrastructure, a new library, new film vaults, a new cafe, and a rooftop terrace to the building. The expansion took place with the blessing of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and screenings have resumed with safety protocols in place.

Completion estimated for spring 2023
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155-Mulberry-Street-01 Rendering via Morris Adjmi Architects
On the corner of Grand and Mulberry Streets, the luxury condos at The Grand Mulberry, a seven-story building with large windows, a red brick facade, and a context-sensitive design by Morris Adjmi Architects, are going fast. The Italian-American Museum sold its site to the condo's developers for $14.8 million at the beginning of 2017; as part of the deal, it will move into a larger space in the new building rent-free in perpetuity. The museum will have a separate Mulberry Street entrance that leads to a central atrium with a 20' ceiling. The four levels will include permanent and temporary exhibitions (including artifacts from Banca Stabile, a former tenant on the site), a 50-seat auditorium, and a gift shop.

Completion estimated for 2024
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Universal-Hip-Hop-Museum-01 Rendering of the Universal Hip Hop Museum via S9 Architecture
The Universal Hip Hop Museum is a key component of the Bronx Point development taking shape on the Harlem River waterfront. It will occupy 50,000 square feet and feature hip hop artifacts, a recording studio experience, a DJ booth, a graffiti station, and a virtual reality theater. Grandmaster Flash, LL Cool J, Nas, and Fat Joe were among the luminaries in attendance at a May 2021 groundbreaking ceremony.

Completion of new building estimated for 2022
Current home at 460 Park Avenue now open

A few blocks east of Korea Way, the new home of the Korean Culture Center is nearing completion. The design by the Seoul-based Samoo Architects and Engineers is the winner of a 2010 competition, and will feature a transparent facade with illuminated sculptural figures. The project is striving for LEED certification and will feature a 200-seat theater below-grade, an exhibition space on the second floor, an arts and crafts center on the fourth floor, and classrooms on the fifth floor.

Completed in 2021
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Irish-Arts-Center-01 Rendering via Davis Brody Bond
Since its opening in 1972, Irish Arts Center has bloomed into a mainstay of Irish theater, dance, and music. It has also outgrown the tenement it has operated out of from the start, and arranged to combine the original theater with a new building that has risen on the former site of an auto repair shop at 726 Eleventh Avenue. The new design incorporates the original brick facade and offers a contemporary new theater, a lobby and cafe, a studio classroom, and four dressing rooms.

Completion estimated for 2023
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Children's-Museum-01 Rendering via FXCollaborative
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is such a popular destination for families all over New York that it is on the verge of outgrowing its Upper West Side space. To that end, the museum purchased a church at 361 Central Park West and worked closely with FXCollaborative to create a state-of-the-art museum with a historic exterior. The project won unanimous Landmarks approval in June 2020.

Completion estimated for February 2023
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American-Museum-of-Natural-History-01 Rendering via Studio Gang
When the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation ("the Gilder Center") opens at the American Museum of Natural History, it will create a continuous campus across four city blocks. The design by McArthur fellow Jeanne Gang was inspired by caves and caverns formed by natural forces, and incorporates a construction technique known as "shotcrete."

When The Gilder Center opens, it will be anchored by the four-story Kenneth C. Griffin Exploration Atrium, which will have multiple openings and bridges to connect visitors physically and visually. The Allison and Roberto Mignone Hall of Gems and Minerals has already reopened to the public, and The Gilder Center will also be home to the Louis V. Gertsner Jr. Collections Core, Susan and Peter J. Soloman Family Insectarium, the Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium, David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Research Library and Learning Center, immersive art experience Invisible Worlds, and 18 classrooms for students of all ages. The groundbreaking ceremony took place in June 2019, and it will open to the public on February 17, 2023.

Completion estimated for 2023
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Metropolitan-Museum-of-Art-01 Rendering by wHY, courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is among the world’s largest and most famous museums, and the Fifth Avenue building housing the treasures is a work of art in and of itself. It is also set to renovate the Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, which contains 40,000 square feet of galleries dedicated to Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

From there, it will embark on the expansion of the Oscar L. Tang and H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang Wing, which houses modern and contemporary art. In March 2022, Frida Escobedo was selected as its architect.

Opened September 2022
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Hall of Lumineres
After the Atelier des Lumieres took Paris by storm with a digital art museum in a former foundry, founder CultureSpace set its sights on 49-51 Chambers Street, a Beaux-Arts building that was originally the Emigrant Savings Bank, for its New York outpost to be called Hall des Lumieres. The museum leased space on the first level and one level below so as to make the most of the 40' ceilings and ornate detailing as a backdrop for what it calls "video powered canvases." The premier exhibit is Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion.

The extensive audiovisual equipment is tucked out of sight, and the interiors have been modified to add a ticketing area, restrooms, coat check, and gift shop outside the designated landmarked space. Additionally, the designers installed a large curtain that can be closed during the shows and later opened to reveal the grandeur of the space. Landmarks unanimously approved the project in July 2020, and commission chair Sarah Carroll said, "The idea of allowing the public back into this space to experience this designated interior is seen as positive adaptive reuse."

Museum of Islamic Art

Completion date TBD

45-Park-Place-01 Rendering via SOMA Architects
In 2019, a set of renderings was revealed for the Museum of Islamic Art, which is taking shape next door to the luxury condominium at 45 Park Place. These show a tree-lined entrance with reflecting pools and light-flooded exhibition and prayer spaces. The museum was originally conceived as a community center, but it would be an ideal venue for club meetings and other events.

Completed in 2019
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Hours vary by program
Closed Monday and Tuesday
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The-Shed-01 The Shed via Brett Beyer
Situated where the High Line meets Hudson Yards, The Shed is designed to welcome established and emerging visual, musical, and performance artists. The Diller Scofidio + Renfo-designed building features two large gallery spaces, a theater, a rehearsal space, a skylit event space, an artists lab, and an adjoining plaza. The architecture was hailed as "adaptable" for its ability to move its outer shell over the plaza to create a large-scale performance space, but that word applies just as easily to the institution it houses: The "Up Close" series was developed to connect people to art from the safety of their homes, and the space has reopened with health protocols.

Completed in 2019
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International-Center-of-Photography-01 Rendering of the International Center of Photography via Moso Studio
The International Center of Photography is the world's leading institution dedicated to photography and visual culture, and home to everything from early daguerreotypes to multimedia installations. The museum and school reunited in Essex Crossing, where residents of 242 Broome Street receive a complimentary membership to the museum. The museum had only been open in its new home for six weeks when it was forced to close due to the pandemic, but cultivated a vibrant online community that allowed people to see galleries, take classes, watch lectures and events, and even submit their own photography.

Completed in 2019
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Statue-of-Liberty-Museum-01 Statue of Liberty Museum via Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation
Ever since the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886, it has served as a beacon of hope and inspiration to immigrants making their way to America. Over 100 years later, the Statue of Liberty Museum opened in 2019 as the home of American heirlooms and interactive exhibits alike. Separate tickets to the museum are not necessary.

Public Art Installations
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth-Bader-Ginsburg-01 Rendering via Gillie and Marc
Barely a month after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Governor Cuomo announced a commission to oversee the creation of a permanent statue of the Brooklyn-born judge. It could take some time before this statue is ready, but admirers will not have to wait that long: A bronze statues of Justice Ginsburg, originally designed as part of artist duo Gillie and Marc’s “Statues for Equality” installation, was permanently installed outside the City Point development on March 15, 2021, which would have been her 88th birthday.

Women's Rights Pioneers
Women's-Rights-Pioneers-01 Photo via Emily Dombroff
On August 26, 2020, the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, Hillary Clinton spoke in Central Park at an unveiling ceremony for Meredith Bergmann’s statue of activists Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The statue on Liberty Walk is the first one of real-life women in Central Park (fictional characters may be found elsewhere). Non-profit Monumental Women was at the helm of the project and said in a statement, “It’s fitting that the first statue of real women in the park depicts women working together to fight for equality and justice, as women will continue to do until the battle is won.”

Mother Cabrini
Mother-Cabrini-01 Photo via Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Flickr
The Columbus Day parade did not take place in October 2020, but the city still paid tribute to a luminary of Italian descent: A statue of Mother Cabrini, the patron saint of immigrants and the first American citizen to be canonized by the Catholic Church, was unveiled in Battery Park. In a speech at the ceremony, then-Governor Cuomo said, “In this complex world, may this statue serve to remind us of the principles that made us great as a country and as a people.”

Newtown Creek
Newtown-Creek-01 Photo via GreenPoint Innovations
In the Hunters Point section of Long Island City, a massive mural depicting a heron, cormorant, and sunset is taking shape on the side of a new school building. The design by Federico Massa stems from a contest that took place during Climate Week 2020 and aimed to highlight global climate issues through art. To that end, the design is going up with environmentally friendly paint and recycled and repurposed materials to be the city's first carbon neutral street artwork.

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