7. The American Wing was once a freestanding building
The neoclassical facade of the American Wing, curiously built into the wall of Engelhard Court (Gallery 700), was actually a freestanding building facing an exterior garden for fifty years, until it was enclosed in 1980. The facade was rescued from the Branch Bank of the United States, located on Wall Street, before that building’s demolition in the 1920’s:
Also in Engelhard Court, don’t miss the two Beaux-Arts bronze lampposts flanking the Bank facade. These were the original lampposts Richard Morris Hunt designed for the Met entrance. They are strategically placed in the Court, highlighting the ambiguity between nineteenth-century American art and its European influences.