New Permanent Space for Bronx Children’s Museum Opens

One of the new spaces inside the Bronx Children’s Museum. Image Credit: DDC.

The Bronx was previously the only borough not to have a permanent children’s museum. On November 16, 2022, the Departments of Design and Construction, Parks and Recreation, and Cultural Affairs, elected officials and community members celebrated the opening of the permanent space for the Bronx Children’s Museum. The museum is now located at the Bronx Terminal Market at 725 Exterior Street in Mill Pond Park. 

The Bronx Children’s Museum was founded in 2005, and until now has operated as a museum “with and without walls” as the museum lacked a permanent space but offered educational programming at schools, libraries and other community spaces. A Museum On The Go! Bus has brought museum programming around the borough since 2011. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in delays for the construction of the permanent space, but the museum continued to offer adjusted programming. 

The new museum space is 13,800 square feet and reflects the local contrast between the adjacent river and the urban space. While the museum sits in a retrofitted powerhouse, the interior reflects natural materials and landscape, including the use of wood, stone, glass, and cork in addition to a natural color palette. The design was inspired by Jean Piaget’s Child’s Conception of Space, and all spaces in the museum were designed from the perspective of a child’s height. Open space, ramps, low partitions and benches make exhibits accessible while meeting the NYC Active Design Guidelines which promote physical activity. The main exhibition space is composed of three primary areas: early learner, community arts and natural sciences. The facility includes a classroom and community room. 

The museum was designed by O’Neill McVoy Architects and created through A Quest Corporation. The $14 million project was managed by Design and Construction for Parks, Cultural Affairs, and the Bronx Children’s Museum. 

The museum officially opens to the public on December 3rd. Admission is free for a limited time in celebration of the museum’s permanent opening but reservations are required. For more information, click here

Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue stated, “Until this project, the Bronx was the only borough without a children’s museum, which makes this day so special. Through this newly renovated building, we’re advancing equity and education, giving kids in the Bronx the museum space they deserve.”

Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson stated, “Today’s opening of the Bronx Children’s Museum is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication to bringing much needed resources to our residents and families. I was an avid supporter of this project in the City Council and I am proud to see it come to fruition in my role as Borough President. This project will give The Bronx a cultural resource center dedicated to providing our children an opportunity to dream big, express themselves, and aspire to be whatever they want to be.”

Bronx Children’s Museum Founding Executive Director Carla Precht stated, “Architects O’Neill McVoy understood just what we envisioned from the beginning – a combination of a fine arts museum space and a children’s museum that emulates a natural landscape with all its beauty, twists and turns, surprises and diversity. The space reflects the fluidity of water which is an overarching theme throughout the Museum exhibits, space, experiences and programming. The children of the Bronx only deserve the best and we think we have achieved just that: an unforgettable, beautiful space they will be proud of and will enjoy for years to come.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



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