New York State Museum
Established in 1836, the New York State Museum is the nation's oldest and largest state-operated museum and has been located in this modern structure since 1976. Visitors to the museum can see a number of exhibits related to the museum's early mission of preserving the natural history and conducting geological research throughout the state. The first floor holds the museum's permanent collection as well as several smaller galleries that hold thematic exhibits that change throughout the year. The second and third floors are home to staff offices, artifact storage and preservation spaces, and offices of numerous research agencies. The fourth floor offers additional exhibit spaces, a wonderful view of the adjacent Empire State Plaza, and a favorite for children of all ages- a carousel that was built in the early 20th century that guests can ride.
Backstory and Context
The mission of the museum, like the size of its collections, has expanded dramatically since its origins as a geological research organization. In 1870, the organization expanded beyond geological research by offering a natural history museum that soon included exhibits related to the history and culture of the state. The museum has been located in this building since 1976, constructed as part of a nationwide effort to expand historical and cultural organizations ahead of the nation's bicentennial celebrations.