New-York Historical Society Abandons Condominium Tower Plan

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After a year and a half of controversy and intense opposition by preservationists and neighborhood groups, the New-York Historical Society at 77th Street and Central Park West has abandoned its pursuit of a $100 million, 23-story luxury condominium tower, along with a five-story annex that would have risen above an adjacent empty lot the society owns at 7-13 West 76th Street.

Instead, the society has embarked on a $55 million, three-year renovation of its galleries, entrance and facade that will create a permanent main-floor exhibition hall showcasing some of its treasures, an interactive multimedia orientation program in its auditorium, an 85-seat cafe and a below-ground children’s gallery and library, society officials said.

And during the months while main-floor galleries are closed in the third year of construction, the society will collaborate for the first time with El Museo del Barrio in mounting an exhibition across Central Park in its museum at East 104th Street and Fifth Avenue, to be called “Nueva York,” celebrating the city’s Hispanic history.

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