Brooklyn Museum, then and now

This early-1900s photograph of the Brooklyn Museum—known as the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences when construction began in 1895—shows a neo-Classic beauty of a building, looking majestic on a young Eastern Parkway (those little trees!)

And that grand staircase sure was something, rising 28 feet from street level. It was part of the original McKim, Mead & White design; the famed architectural firm also designed part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

brklynmuseumold

The staircase didn’t last long. In the mid-1930s, Brooklyn Museum officials decided to make the building more “democratic” by removing it. Visitors now entered the building through ground floor doors.

brooklynmuseum2009In 2000, museum honchos wanted a grand entrance again, something that would recall the original McKim, Mead & White staircase.

This is the result, completed in 2004. People seem to either love it or hate it; there’s no in between. 

Architectural monstrosity or “Brooklyn’s new front stoop,” as the museum’s director was quoted in a 2000 New York Times article?  You decide.

Tags: , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Brooklyn Museum, then and now”

  1. gimelgort Says:

    Hideous! Rivals the giant bedpan atop Chicago’s once proud Soldier Field.

  2. The Brooklyn Museum’s hit art exhibit in 1921 « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] when the Brooklyn Museum staged a retrospective of Mucha’s drawings, paintings, and posters in early 1921, about 60,000 […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: