7. There Were Seven Other Locations
The 7 previous N-YHS locations. Image via N-YHS
The New-York Historical Society has only been in its current building on Central Park West since 1908. Before that it moved around quite a lot, changing locations seven times before construction began for 170 Central Park West in 1902. Its first home was at City Hall in Lower Manhattan until 1809. Next, it moved to Bowling Green to the Government House (no longer standing), which was originally constructed as the house of the President of the United States when New York was the temporary capital. The map above gives a nice visual of where the museum and library moved. The last before Central Park West was along Second Avenue on the southeast corner of 11th street.
The New-York Historical Society moved to the Upper West Side because of the amount of space available for its growing collection. Construction of 170 Central Park West broke ground the same year the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its doors on Fifth Avenue in 1902. You can see amazing photographs from the current location’s construction on the New-York Historical Society’s website here.