5. The Earth Room

earth room installation, coolest museums in nyc
The installation expands over 3600 square feet and 22 inches deep.

Since 1977, Bill Dilworth has been the caretaker of The Earth Room, an art installation and soil haven created by Walter de Maria in Soho. De Maria installed 28,000 pounds of dirt into a SoHo loft, and it has remained there since. The Earth Room provides solace from the outside chaos of New York City, just by breathing in a fresh scent of soil.

The bed of soil expands over 3,600 square feet, measures 22 inches deep, and is perhaps one of the most expensive real estate pieces in New York City. Walter de Maria also created two other Earth Room installations, one in Munich in 1968, and the other in Germany in 1974, but both no longer exist. This is a rare delight to discover at 141 Wooster Street, and its hours of operation are Fridays and Saturdays from 12-3 p.m. and 3:30-6 p.m.