2. When built, the Met was in an “undesirable” area
The museum’s original 5th Avenue incarnation in 1880. Photo from Library of Congress.
When construction began, the museum’s new location at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street was significantly north of what was considered “desirable” during that era. In fact, it was predominantly farmland, far from the mansions of the old money set and new robber barons. The grid plan was already laid out but the streets weren’t yet paved that far north.