The Morgan Library & Museum in NYC has a new garden in front of their renovated library – Low Calorie Diets Tips

A new garden is growing in the middle of Midtown Manhattan in one of the most historic locations in all of NYC.

Just outside the J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library on 36th Street (off Madison Avenue) is the new Morgan Garden, a small but beautiful green space with colorful herb beds and Roman antiques.

Although the space in front of the library has had a lawn since its inception in 1906, this is the first time it has been a full-fledged garden, as Morgan intended, and since the library’s 2006 entrance into the Madison Avenue was moved and since 2019 restoration work is taking place on the outside, few people know this part of the museum campus.

RECOMMENDED: Check out the American Museum of Natural History’s new canyon-like building

After six years of intense $13 million restoration work, the library’s exterior has been restored to its original neoclassical glory.

“Our philosophy on this project was to use conservation methods that are physically and aesthetically compatible with the original materials,” said Glenn Boornazian, President and Principal Conservator at Integrated Conservation Resources. “The library was built so well. Over a hundred years later she is in relatively good condition and our work has focused on making repairs that fit in and last. There are those rare moments in history when the right people get tougher: the craftsmen, the patrons, and the architects. It took place here in this remarkable building.”

Photo: Brett Beyer, courtesy Morgan Library & Museum

Of course, with a like-new facade, anything less than an immaculate garden would suffice. The Morgan and its landscape architect, Todd Longstaffe-Gowan Landscape Design, received permission from the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to finally create a garden in front of the library as Morgan once planned. (He died before he could make it happen, the museum says.)

However, the garden could not overtake the library building. Anything that would be planted would have to remain unobtrusive, according to Longstaffe-Gowan. Hence, the garden, which now provides an accessible path to the library and inviting spaces for tours and other programs, has bluestone pathways arranged in patterns flanking the library’s floor and exterior paving, elegant pebble mosaics, and evergreen beds on the library’s loggia and colourful, low perennial beds.

Even cooler, the garden features several ancient ornaments from the Morgan holdings that have not previously been open to the public – the Roman sarcophagus, a Roman funerary stele, and a pair of Renaissance corbels.

“For over a century, a blank canvas has stood before J. Pierpont Morgan’s library,” Longstaffe-Gowan said. “Our goal was to develop a new garden that respects the historical context in which it is located. The garden aims to create a welcoming environment that allows visitors to experience the library up close and see details that they may not have seen before. Making the landscape around the institution’s building more dignified will be the garden’s greatest legacy.”

Morgan Library & Museum Garden
Photo: Brett Beyer, courtesy Morgan Library & Museum

Morgan Library & Museum Garden
Photo: Brett Beyer, courtesy Morgan Library & Museum

You can follow the entire restoration and garden development process in a video series and learn about the museum, library and garden in Morgan’s new digital guide on Bloomberg Connects.

Better still, visitors to the Morgan can tour the outside of the library and enjoy the garden on tours offered every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 12:30pm and during “Saturdays in the Garden” with museum admission. The Garden will remain open seasonally through Sunday 9th October. It sure seems like the perfect start or end to a Free Fridays date at The Morgan!

To celebrate its reopening, the Morgan is hosting a free Garden Family Fair and Community Weekend June 18-19. From 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. you can stop by and see for yourself.

The schedule is as follows:

  • 11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Community tours
  • 12pm-3pm: “Compose yourself!” Write your own unique verse at Morgan’s Poetry Wall, inspired by great writers like Gwendolyn Brooks and James Joyce; “It’s a little mulch…” The Grand Falloons Company performs live magic, juggling and balloon animal sculptures; Gilded Glamor literally becomes the character of J. Pierpont Morgan or the museum’s first director, Belle da Costa Greene, using our head-in-the-hole board created by artist Pam Koehler; and “Father of Pride” where you make your own dandelion for the Morgan Garden.
  • 12pm-3pm: Live music from multi-instrumentalists Dennis Lichtman and Jerron Paxton performing American music from the early to mid-20th century (Saturday) and Jeff Newell and the New-Trad Quartet, representing the early sources of our nation’s musical heritage perform (Sunday).
  • 12:30pm-1pm and 2:30pm-3pm: Off the Page: Family Storytime in the East Room – celebrate authors and images from Morgan’s collection with live picture book readings. Enjoy Beautiful blackbird by Ashley Bryan, We shine by Gwendolyn Brooks and P stands for Pterodactyl by Chris Carpenter and Raj Haldar.

Leave a Comment