Final Renderings Revealed for Children’s Museum of Manhattan at 361 Central Park West, on the Upper West Side

Updated rendering of the new Children's Museum of Manhattan - FXCollaborativeUpdated rendering of the new Children's Museum of Manhattan - FXCollaborative

Following a series appeals to the Landmarks Preservation Commission and eventual approval in June 2020, The Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) will soon debut at 361 Central Park West on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Architect of record FXCollaborative has released new renderings of the museum, which will occupy a former church and New York City landmark.

CMOM also announced its partnership with Local Projects, a New York-based design studio that will oversee exhibition and experiential design.

FXCollaborative focused particularly on a respectful transformation of the historic building into a broadly accessible public space. To that end, the ornate masonry façade is largely left intact with the exception of existing stained glass windows and doorways.

Updated rendering of the new Children's Museum of Manhattan - FXCollaborative

Updated rendering of the new Children’s Museum of Manhattan – FXCollaborative

Historic photo of the First Church of Christ Scientist and existing conditions at 361 Central Park West – FXCollaborative

Historic photo of the First Church of Christ Scientist and existing conditions at 361 Central Park West – FXCollaborative

All stained glass windows will receive new bronze frames, mullions, and the glass borders will be repaired and restored along each elevation. To improve the flow of natural light, the central stained glass window will be replaced with clear, avian-safe glass.

The apex of the structure will house a mix of performance and workshop spaces. To both illuminate the roof-level spaces and diminish street-level visibility, the design team will reconstruct the church’s terra cotta roof, insert demure glass sections beneath, and install a hidden skylight.

Preliminary sketch of programming within the new Children's Museum of Manhattan - FXCollaborative

Preliminary sketch of programming within the new Children’s Museum of Manhattan – FXCollaborative

As previously documented by YIMBY, The First Church of Christ Scientist was originally completed around 1903 and achieved landmarked status in 1974. At that time, the majority of the congregation voted against a landmark designation of the building, which they foresaw as a great complication to future renovation, capital improvement, or expansion projects.

The congregation eventually sold the church for $14 million in 2004. When CMOM acquired the gutted property, all plaster details and wooden benches were already dismantled.

Hstoric photo of church interiors (left) and the current semi-demolished conditions (right) - FXCollaborative

Historic photo of church interiors (left) and the current semi-demolished conditions (right) – FXCollaborative

The new museum is currently on schedule to meet its planned 2023 debut.

Subscribe to YIMBY’s daily e-mail

Follow YIMBYgram for real-time photo updates
Like YIMBY on Facebook
Follow YIMBY’s Twitter for the latest in YIMBYnews

TFC Horizon
.

10 Comments on "Final Renderings Revealed for Children’s Museum of Manhattan at 361 Central Park West, on the Upper West Side"

  1. G-d forbid you should tell us the cross street that 361 CPW is on..Anyway, you’d think that if anything deserved a wild and imaginative NEW building, it would be the Children’s Museum, and not, as well intentioned as it might be, in a reclaimed church.

  2. Nice plan.

    • Wonderful imaginative use. I lived on that street for almost 30 years. As a young boy we played in front of the church. It was so imposing and somewhat frightening as we never saw anyone enter or leave. The thought of kids playing and learning is fantastic.ales me smile to think about that wonderful block with its open invitation to Central Park across the street and its playground where we ran through sprinklers to cool off.

      • Bob the Builder | January 11, 2021 at 5:36 pm | Reply

        I grew up on 96th as well. The church was basically unused. I do remember seeing the Christian Science caretakers walking around and parking their car but thats about it. The developers who tried to convert it into apartments should be help accountable for their discretion of the interiors.

  3. The building sits on the corner of CPW &96th Street. It may be a landmark but it is NOT children friendly. It reminds me of the witches castle in Wizard of Oz. The steeple looks like her hat.

  4. @Monath
    Children’s Museums don’t have to be ugly new buildings that are plain, Costco like dullness with wacky primary colors.
    Also, they gave you the address, God forbid you look it up yourself on a web browser to get the exact location.

  5. Susan Addelston | January 3, 2021 at 2:46 pm | Reply

    Great! This bldg. is at 95th St., and has long been a wonderful architectural joy on the Upper West Side. Very easy transit options; xtown & downtown buses, right on top of a subway stop, small children’s playground directly across the street; nice big grassy areas in the park itself. What a fine re-use of a magnificent bldg. Pity that it got delayed so long with wrong-minor community opposition. Especially happy that it’s close to the 96th St. ‘unwritten’ border for children of color in North Manhattan to gain access to an amazing place. Problems of parking access (non-existent) and ‘what will entry cost’ – exist, but truly happy. Let’s get it built and open!!! Full disclosure: I live 2 blocks away and my kids are adults now, but I will take young nieces/nephews for sure to visit.

  6. Susan Addelston | January 3, 2021 at 2:47 pm | Reply

    Oops – typo! It’s at 96 & CPW – sorry!!!

    • Thanks!..when l went to my fancy/silly/great prep school in the 60’s, Birch Wathen, we played soccer at the Central Park fields in the 90’s

Leave a Reply to Fred Feiner Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.


*