When the Met’s home was West 14th Street

The stately Metropolitan Museum of Art has anchored Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street for so long, it’s hard to imagine the museum and its collections anywhere else.

Especially 14th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues—home to discount storefronts, social services agencies, and seen-better-days apartment buildings of varying styles.

But in 1873, when the Met was a mere three years old and it needed new digs following a first stint at 681 Fifth Avenue, the museum moved here, a stretch of the city that then featuring mansions and wealth.

The Met took up residence at 128 West 14th Street, in what’s referred to as the Douglas mansion. 

It didn’t last long there. By 1880, the growing museum had decamped far uptown to its present site at 1000 Fifth Avenue. Here it is in a postcard dated 1928.

And the Douglas mansion? It burned down in 1918. The Salvation Army had been leasing it as a training school; they rebuilt their headquarters on the site, and are still there today.

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2 Responses to “When the Met’s home was West 14th Street”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    The Salvation Army building is a huge awesome building, especially at night.

  2. Ross Says:

    The postcard might be from 1928, but the facade had already changed significantly by then. The 1911 McKim Mead & White north and south wings had long been completed by then.

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