Standing in the entrance of Manhattan's new Skyscraper Museum (39 Battery Place, New York City; www.skyscraper.org) is like hanging from the middle of a very tall building. The 5,800-square-foot gallery, which opened earlier this spring beside the Ritz-Carlton, Battery Park, has a mirrored-steel ceiling and a floor etched with tiny rectangles to mimic the windowed façade of a typical high-rise. The museum was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the firm responsible for such famous skyscrapers as New York's Lever House and the Sears Tower in Chicago. In the inaugural show, "Building a Collection," 13 floor-to-ceiling vitrines showcase selections from a permanent collection of 5,000 artifacts: turn-of-the-century postcards of New York landmarks (including the since-demolished 1908 Singer Building), 1930's snapshots of workers riveting beams on the Empire State Building, computer renderings of some of the world's tallest towers, in Taiwan and Kuala Lumpur. Video screens show aerial views of the New York skyline, including now-historic images of the World Trade Center. A 10-foot-tall model of the Twin Towers, which were designed by Minoru Yamasaki in the sixties, goes on display later this month.
—Eve M. Kahn
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