10. A Raised Driveway for Cars was Once Envisioned for the Entrance

Could you imagine the entrance to the Met without it’s giant staircase? Well, those stairs (a favorite hang-out of Blair Waldorf and Co. in Gossip Girl), weren’t part of Richard Morris Hunt’s design. Expanded in the 1970’s by Kevin Roche, the massive steps were once considered an “overbearing ornament.” The steps were also thought to “strike terror in all persons who have reached middle age,” so various plans were drafted to do away with them including one, from the mid-twentieth century, to accommodate the automobile.

Originally, the Fifth Avenue entrance was designed to have a narrow set of steps leading from a vehicle drop-off. At some point later a “dog house” type vestibule was added to prevent drafts into the building. Both the original stairs and the vestibule were removed when the current stairs were put in.