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Queens Museum Shows Off Larger, Brighter Space After $70M Renovation

By Katie Honan | October 31, 2013 8:46am
 The museum underwent a $70 million renovation and has doubled in size.
Queens Museum Unveiling
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CORONA — The newly-renovated Queens Museum showed off its larger, brighter space a week before the reopening on Nov. 9.

The renovation has added an additional 50,000-square-feet of space to the museum by taking over the old skating rink in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The new museum includes more galleries, performance and event spaces and increases accessibility for parkgoers.

It will still include the historic New York City panorama and the map of the watershed, and will feature artist studios, education classrooms and a cafe.

The renovation, which cost close to $70 million, was funded through a mix of mostly public funds, including $24 million from the office of Borough President Helen Marshall, $22 million from Mayor Bloomberg's office and $15 million from New York State.

Local politicians, members of the board and community leaders joined Mayor Bloomberg Wednesday in the "ribbon" cutting of the main space inside the museum on Oct. 30.


City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who said he visited the museum as a kid growing up in Astoria, said the investment into the space is encouraging for the borough's cultural landscape.

"That's an important investment into our future — and it will pay off for generations to come," he said.

Dorothy Lewandowski, the Queens Borough Commissioner for the Parks Department, said the museum is an "incredible partner" with the surrounding parts of Flushing Meadows.

"We're thrilled," she said. "The exhibits extend out to the park, and the views are spectacular."

While the larger, brighter space will allow for more exhibits and more visitors, the museum's president said it will still remain true to the people in it's namesake borough.

"It's transforming from a quirky and beloved smaller institution to something that has greater ambition," said Tom Finkelpearl, president of the Queens Museum.

"But we're in no way turning our back to the community. We're dedicated to the 'Queensness' of it."