Brooklyn Children's Museum
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Architect Hardy-Holzman-Pfieffer
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Location Brooklyn, New York   map
Date 1977   timeline
Building Type children's museum
 Construction System concrete
Climate temperate
Context urban park setting
Style Modern





Discussion Brooklyn Children's Museum Commentary

"For the first time since it was founded in 1899, the museum now occupies flexible spaces specifically designed for its programs. Rather than creating a new building to replace the original house-museum, the design called for a submerged facility that allows Brower Park to expand over the museum's roof. The museum's design involves a continuous juxtaposition of forms, materials, and spatial experiences. The process of discovery begins as one enters through a kiosk (which formerly served the Queensboro Bridge), passing by grain silos and highway signs that evoke and define the museum's presence below. A 180-foot-long ramp breaks at each of the museum's four exhibition floors to provide access to a diverse, multilevel changing space."

— Mildred F Schmertz. Hardy Holtzman Pfieffer Associates: Buildings and Projects. 246.

"This underground museum—a four-level, open-plan facility—offers kids a bounty of hands-on learning experiences in highly original ways. It's topped by a playground that parades highway signage, a silo, and a subway kiosk that serves as the building's entrance. Inside there's a 'people tube' that carries sluiceways of water and swirls of neon as well as visitors; there's also a greenhouse of plants, a lucite jungle gym that replicates a molecule's structure, and many other attractions."

— from Sylvia Hart Wright. Sourcebook of Contemporary North American Architecture: From Postwar to Postmodern. p43.


In Brower Park at the intersection of Brooklyn and Saint Marks Avenues.

Sources on Brooklyn Children's Museum

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. repetitive field diagram, p171. — Updated edition available at

Mildred F. Schmertz. Hardy Holtzman Pfeiffer Associates: Buildings and Projects, 1967-1992. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1992. ISBN 0-8478-1480-7. LC 91-29480. NA737.H29A4. p246. upper level plan drawing, f3, p56.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Brooklyn Children's Museum


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