225 Madison Avenue, New York, 10016
(212) 685 - 0008
Morgan Library and Museum
DescriptionThe Morgan Library and Museum is located at 225 Madison Avenue, New York, NY. Parking needs to be found at one of the private garages nearby. Entry is at street level with a handicapped-assist push button There is a second set of doors to get to the main lobby.
The lobby is spacious, with three elevators and lifts that take visitors to all levels. All galleries are spacious. Some of the areas have flat rugs. Seating is limited to a few benches.
Multi-stall, handicapped accessible restrooms are located on the lower level. There is no designated baby-changing station. A shelf in these restrooms can serve as one.
Single-occupancy, handicapped accessible restrooms are located in the hallway near the Morgan Dining Room and Museum Shop.
The Morgan Cafe is located at the back of the main lobby. The Morgan Dining Room and Museum Shop are located in a hallway off the main lobby, requiring steps or a lift to their entrances.
- Doors: glass, with handicapped push-button
Number of floors: 3
Elevators: 3 elevators & 3 lifts
Steps and staircases: to all levels
Width of aisles: ample
Places to sit: some benches
Location of restrooms: lower level and hallway near Morgan Dining Room
Type of restroom: **
Ease of entry and exit: good
Available food services: Morgan Dining Room and Morgan Cafe
Friendliness of staff: helpful and knowledgeable
Notes: * Parking must be found at nearby garages. ** Lower level restrooms are multi-stall, handicapped-accessible. There is a shelf that can serve as a baby-changing station. Single-occupancy, handicapped-accessible restrooms are located in the hallway near the Morgan Dining Room and Museum Shop
Once again, a cold winter day brought me to a place I had not visited in many years, the Morgan Library and Museum I had not been there in such a long time that they have had several renovations since my last visit. The 2006 renovation by famed architect Renzo Piano seems to me to be one of the best blendings of old and new. You walk into what seems to be a majestic old world building and find yourself in a beautiful glass enclosed courtyard which serves as the entryway to all of the galleries as well as the sunlit, courtyard cafe. The renovation was so well done that even the wheelchair lifts are barely noticeable.
This venue began as the private library of Pierpont Morgan. “Mr Morgan’s library, as it was known in his lifetime, was built between 1902 – 1906, adjacent to his residence at Madison Ave and 36th Street. Designed by Charles McKim, of McKim, Mead and White… Majestic in appearance, yet imtimate in scale, the structure was to reflect the nature and stature of its holdings…”(website) rare books and manuscripts, including such items as three Guttenberg Bibles.
“Morgan’s son realized that the library had become too important to remain in private. In what constituted one of the most momentous cultural gifts in U.S. history, he fulfilled his father’s dream of making the library and its treasures available to scholars and the public alike by transforming it into a public institution.” (website) Even today, anyone over the age of 18 can arrange to have a personal look at these historical books and documents.
Everyone enters through glass doors (with a handicapped push button), and then a second set of doors into the large, light filled lobby. From here one can get to all levels by elevator or steps. Entrances to several of the galleries require steps or the use of the wonderfully integrated lifts.
Entering the original 1906 library area is a jaw-dropping experience. The ceilings of the Rotunda, Original Library and Study are reason enough for a visit. I had trouble taking my eyes off of them to look at everything else there was to see; from the incredible fireplaces, to the works of art and rare books and manuscripts. Rugs are on the floors, but they are flat and seem to cause no problems. Every room and gallery is spacious. Seating is limited.
Multi-stall, handicapped-accessible restrooms are located on the lower level. Although there is no dedicated baby-changing station, a shelf in the restrooms seems more than adequate for that use.
Single-occupancy, handicapped-accessible restrooms are located in the hallway near the Morgan Dining Room and Museum Shop. Steps or the lift are required to get to both of these.
“The Morgan Cafe offers a casual dining atmosphere in the glass-enclosed central court, evoking European Alfresco dining.”(website) Sitting here, enjoying a cup of coffee, was a wonderful experience. For a more formal dining experience there is the Morgan Dining Room.
Two extraordinary exhibits are being presented at this time. “Lincoln Speaks, Words That Transformed A Nation,” focuses on Lincoln’s mastery of language as a writer and public speaker…exploring how his words changed the course of history.”” (brochure) Many original documents, along with other narratives and video are presented in a timeline. “Hebrew Illumination for Our Time: The Art of Barbara Wolff” showcases the beautiful and intricate work of the current artist. One is able to see how she worked on a commissioned illuminated Haggadah, through a video and then see the finished product in the gallery. Spectacular! The Museum Shop offers an extensive selection of interesting books and other items.
As I sat in the Cafe and looked at the Museum’s Catalog, I got a glimpse of the many activities that can be found here. “Today, more than a century after its founding, the Morgan is a major exhibition venue for art, literature and music, one of New York’s great historic landmarks, and a wonderful place to dine, shop, and attend a concert or film.” (brochure)
As always, we at Destination Accessible, advise you to check a venue’s website, www.themorgan.org, when planning a visit, to “know before you go.”