But what many people do not know is that within this outer borough, lies a great many points of interest worth visiting. As a Queens native, born and having grown up in this borough of New York City, I had no idea how many museums existed! Just shy of 25, at 22, it is clear that this outer borough of Manhattan has a wealth of history and cultural jewels to behold and experience.
208 Totten Avenue
Bayside Historical Society was founded in 1964 to collect, preserve, and disseminate information concerning the history of Bayside and its adjacent communities; advocate for the preservation of its most historic structures and distinctive neighborhoods through the landmarking process; and strive to develop a broad constituency of like-minded preservation and educational organizations to protect the historic integrity of our communities and collections.
37-01 Bowne Street
Opened Wednesday Afternoons by appointment. Established in 1947 as a museum, this house was built in 1661, and is a historic home once owned by John Bowne, who has an important role in establishing religious tolerance and freedom in the colony. Successfully appealing his arrest for holding a Quaker meeting in his home, his appeal served as the basis for the later guarantees of freedom of religious, speech and the right of assembly in the Constitution.
38-27 30th Street
Long Island City, Queens
Opened Thursdays through Mondays 12pm to 5pm Once a parachute-harness factory, this three-story facility is now devoted to the exhibition and study of the contemporary art collection of Emily Fisher Landau, which includes 1,200 works from 1960 to the present by such artists as Ellsworth Kelseyy, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol to name a few.
Cross Island Pkwy. bet. Totten Ave. and 15 Rd.
Located at the head of Little Neck Bay, where the East River widens to become the Long Island Sound in Bayside, Queens. Fort Tottten is a former active United States Army Installation, which continues to maintain a presence at the fort. I will be featuring more about Fort Totten Park in June, later this year.
65-30 Kissena Blvd
405 Klapper Hall
Located within the campus of Queens College on Kissena Blvd in Kew Gardens, Queens. Located in Klapper Hall, the museum maintains a fine art collection of 6,000 pieces of art as well as artifacts from all cultures dating from ancient times to the modern day. These include works by Rembrandt Van Rijn, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Georges Braque.
Quinn Memorial Building
Established in 1995, GAHS is a non-profit cultural and historical organization located in the Queens neighborhood of Astoria, dedicated to preserving the past and promoting the future of the neighborhoods that are part of historic Long Island City, including the Village of Astoria, Blissville, Bowery Bay, Dutch Kills, Hunters Point, Ravenswood, Steinway Village and Sunnyside.
150-03 Jamaica Avenue
Both a NYC Landmark and on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning is a performing and visual arts center which serves more than 28,000 people annually via a 1,650 square foot gallery, a 99-seat proscenium theatre and art and music studio. The building that houses the center is the former Queens Register of Titles and Deeds Building. The exterior features one of only two remaining cast-iron sidewalk clocks in New York City, as well as a late-Victorian era headquarters of the Jamaica Savings Bank next door.
161-40 Jamaica Ave
Both a U.S National Historic Landmark and on the U.S. National REgister of Historic Places, King Manor is also known as the Rufus King House. Located in Jamaica, Queens it was the home of Rufus King, a signer of the U.S. Constitution, a Senator from New York and Ambassador to Great Britain immediately after the American Revolution. The house and the property are now owned by the New York City Parks Department , which designated the land as Rufus King Park.
37th Avenue and Parsons Blvd
Murray Hill, Queens.
Both a New York City Landmark and on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, Kingsland Homestead is the home of the remains of a landmarked, weeping beech tree, believed planted in 1847 and located near the 17th Century Bown House. It was the location of the first Quaker meeting place in New Amsterdam. It is open to the public.
34-41 137th Street
This Queens museum was the former home of African American inventor, Lewis H. Latimer from 1903 to 1928. The house was originally built between 1887 and 1889 by the Sexton family and today it is operated as a museum dedicated to the inventor's work. In addition, this museum-house also illuminated the life and achievements of other black scientists. (Click Here to read more about my visit!)
34-56 107th Street
The Louis Armstrong House is both a New York City Landmark and a National Historical Landmark and was the home of Louis Armstrong and his wife Lucille Wilson from 1943 until his death in 1971. Lucille gave ownership of it to the city of New York in order to create a museum dedicated to her husband.
The house is now a museum that presents concerts and educational programs, operates as a historic house museum and makes materials in its archives of writings, books, recordings and memorabilia available to the public for research. (Click Here to read more about my visit!)
22-25 Jackson Avenue
Long Island City, Queens
MoMA PS1 is one of the largest art institutions in the United States dedicated solely to contemporary art and has been afflicated with the Museum of Modern Art since January 2000. In addition to its exhibitions, MoMA PS1 also organizes the Sunday Sessions performance series, the Warm Up summer music series, and the Young Architects Program with the Museum of Modern Art and it attracts about 200,000 visitors annually.
36-01 35th Avenue
One of my personal faves, The Museum of the Moving Image is a media museum located in Astoria, Queens in a former building of the historic Astoria Studios (now Kaufman Astoria Studios). The museum originally opened in 1988 as the American Museum of the Moving Image and then in March 2008, it began a $67 million expansion and reopened in January 2011. The goal of the museum is to expand public understanding and appreciation of the art, history, technique and technology of film, television, and digital media by collecting, preserving, and providing access to moving-image related artifacts via multimedia exhibitions and educational programming.
47-01 111th Street
Also known as NYSCI, the museum is located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens. NYSCI was established in 1964 as part of the 1964 World's Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park,and at the time was one of only a few science museums in existence
It occupies one of the few remaining structures from the 1964 New York World's Fair, and is New York City's only hands-on science and technology center. The more than 400 hands-on exhibits focus on biology, chemistry, and physics.
Willets Point, Queens
The New York Mets Hall of Fame was created in order to recognize the careers of former New York Mets players, managers, broadcasters and executives. There are presently 27 members. Originally located in the Diamond Club at Shea Stadium, the former Mets Stadium, the inductees are now honored with plaques in the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum at Citi Field, which opened in April 2010.
32-37 Vernon Boulevard
Long Island City, Queens
The Noguchi Museum, chartered as The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, was designed and created by the Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. Opening on a limited basis to the public in 1985. The purpose of the museum and foundation was and remains to preserve and display Noguchi's sculptures, architectural models, stage designs, drawings, and furniture designs.
73-50 Little Neck Parkway
The Queens County Farm Museum is located on 47 acres of the Queens neighborhoods of Floral Park and Glen Oaks. This historic farm occupies the city's largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland (in operation since 1697), and is still a working farm today.
143-35 37th Avenue
The organization was founded in 1968 and is dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of Queens, New York and interpreting the history of the borough as it relates to various historical periods. The historical society is the only museum about Queens' history within the borough and is located in Kingsland Homestead, which is a historic house museum within Weeping Beech Park.
New York City Building
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
The Queens Museum is dedicated to presenting the highest quality visual arts and educational programming for people in the New York metropolitan area, and particularly for the residents of Queens, a uniquely diverse, ethnic, cultural, and international community.
44-19 Purves Street
Long Island City, Queens
SculptureCenter is a contemporary art museum that is located in Long Island City, Queens in New York City. Founded by artists in 1928, SculptureCenter is a not-for-profit arts institution dedicated to experimental and innovative developments in contemporary sculpture. SculptureCenter commissions new work and presents exhibits by emerging and established, national and international artists.
32-01 Vernon Boulevard
Socrates Sculpture Park is an outdoor museum and public park where artists can create and exhibit sculptures and multi-media installations. It is located one block from the Noguchi Museum at the intersection of Broadway and Vernon Boulevard in the neighborhood of Astoria, Queens, New York City. In addition to exhibition space, the park offers an arts education program, artist residency program, and job training.
1820 Flushing Avenue
Vander Ende–Onderdonk House (Van Anda House; Van Enden House) is a historic house at 1820 Flushing Avenue in Ridgewood, Queens. It is the oldest Dutch Colonial stone house in New York City. It is on both the National Register of Historic Places and designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
149-19 38th Avenue
The Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden is a New York City Landmark located in Murray Hill, Queens. The museum occupies a two story house that was constructed in 1891 by a local businessman, James Bouton. A distinguishing feature of the museum is the Victorian garden, which is maintained using eighteenth century propagation methods and gardening techniques, such as hand pruning and the use of natural fertilizers and pesticides.
Serving as a bird sanctuary, the garden’s many varieties of berry bushes and trees attract wild birds, most commonly sparrows, mockingbirds, and robins, cardinals, and blue jays. The museum also operates a bee hive, from which honey is harvested to use in educational programs and sell in their gift shop
Today, the Voelker Orth Museum engages audiences through the arts, education, nature, horticulture and local history by offering house tours, temporary exhibitions, concerts, lectures and workshops, cultural festivals, and family and school programs. Its mission is to "preserve and interpret the cultural and horticultural heritage of Flushing, Queens and adjacent communities to engage their ever-changing populations, through the experience of an immigrant family’s 1890s home.
Here's to some great cultural enjoyment in Queens!! Let us know if you visit any of these and your thoughts!!!