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NYC - Brooklyn Museum | by wallyg
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NYC - Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum, sitting at the border of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights near Prospect Park, is the second largest art museum in New York City. Its permanent collection includes more than one-and-a-half million objects, from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art.


Opened in 1897 under the leadership of Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences president John B. Woodward, the 560,000-square foot, Beaux-Arts building is a steel frame structure—built to the standards of classical masonry—designed by the famous architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White and built by the Carlin Construction Company. Daniel Chester French, the sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial, was selected to carve allegorical figures atop the columns and in the pediments of the center pavilion. French also created the two large limestone allegorical figures of Brooklyn on the right, and the Manhattan on the left, that were placed at the Museum's entrance in 1964 after they were removed from the Manhattan Bridge.


The museum was originally entered via a grand flight of stairs leading to the Ionic portico. The staircase was demolished in 1934, in the name of creating a more direct and "democratic" entrance. In 2004, Polshek Partnership Architects completed a new $55 million glass entrance pavilion and plaza, symbolically stepping up to and radiating out from the 1897 facade, with a stairfcase on the West and an amphitheater-style staircase on the east that leads to a new promenade level.


Ground was broken in 1977 on an extension, designed by Prentice & Chan, across the south elevation of the east wing, and completed in 1980. The 460-seat Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, designed by Arata Isozaki and James Stewart Polshek Partners, was dedicated in 1991. In 1993, the Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing, 30,000 square feet in the West Wing, was rennovated. The name was changed in 1997 to the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and then back again in 2004.


The Brooklyn Museum was designated a landmark by the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1966.


National Historic Register #77000944

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Taken on April 13, 2008