Expanded Queens Museum reopens in Flushing

Lauren Glassberg has the story
November 7, 2013 3:10:47 PM PST
You may never have noticed it from the Grand Central Parkway, but the Queens Museum beckons with a new facade and new interior.

The museum used to be 50,000 square feet, and as of this week, it's 105,000 square feet.

The museum opened in 1972 in what was the city's pavilion for the 1939 World's Fair.

Now, the museum's taken over that entire building, including what was an indoor ice skating rink.

"The United Nations General Assembly met in this room in the 40's. People don't remember that. And we're going to reconvene the UN here, the people's United Nations," museum director Tom Finkelpearl said.

This will actually be a performance piece by a Mexican artist. The iconic panorama remains, a great perspective of the city.

The Tiffany lamp exhibit now has a bigger space, and reflects the art and history of queens, including lamps made right here in Corona.

"We have a double goal, and it can be characterized as Queens, and museum. So we want to embrace Queens, the incredible multiculturalism of Queens. But also, we're still a museum," said Finkelpearl.

Renovations have taken two and a half years, and cost $69 million. But now, there's twice as much to see, giving people even more reason to visit.

There are more galleries, like Peter Shuman's, who has taken over several spaces. There's currently a Cuban installation, and even studio spaces for an artist-in-residence program.

Usually, about 100,000 people visit this museum every year, but the museum's director Tom Finkelpearl expects that number to really increase.