Downtown and Harbor

CommunityWalk Map - Downtown Museums (Financial Dist, TriBeCa, Chinatown) and NY HarborMuseums Visited in Downtown and Harbor:
Skyscraper Museum:
Small one-room gallery dedicated to the history and architecture of tall buildings around the world.  Exhibits vary from the historical roots of skyscrapers in America, to the design of newer skyscrapers in Asia and the Middle East.  
     Museum Rating: Pauline: 3, Paul: 2 (out of 10).
Art Museums:
Large seven floor museum dedicated to contemporary art from around the world.  Nick-named the "anti-mainstream" museum, it often focuses on under-represented emerging contemporary artists and has large adventurous ultra-modern exhibits.  The sky room on the seventh floor has a wrap around deck with great views of the Lower East Side.
     Museum Rating: Pauline: 6, Paul: 7 (out of 10).

Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art
Educating the public about the artistic, cultural, and historical impact of the world's most popular art form. The museum displays every genre of comic and cartoon art: animation, anime, cartoons, comic books, comic strips, gag cartoons, humorous illustration, illustration, political illustration, editorial cartoons, caricature, graphic novels, sports cartoons, and computer-generated art.  Gallery space is modest, and in a hard to find mid-floor of an office building, but displays multiple exhibits at once.
      Museum Rating: Pauline: 4, Paul: 6 (out of 10). 

Fusion Arts Museum
Tiny two-room contemporary art museum on lower east side dedicated exclusively to multi-disciplinary (fusion) art.  Fusion art seeks to combine all artistic disciplines, including sculpture, painting, music, theater, video and digital art.  It often incorporates light and sound into sculptural elements  with moving and interactive parts, creating a multi-sensory deliberately chaotic art form.
      Museum Rating: Pauline: 1, Paul: 5 (out of 10). 

Ethnic Museums:
George Gustav Heye Center
The New York branch of the Museum of the American Indian, a Smithsonian Museum based in Washington D.C..  The collection features contemporary and historical art and artifacts by and about Native Americans.  The museum is based in the old U. S. Customs House, a gorgeous Beaux Arts building across from Bowling Green Park.
     Museum Rating: Pauline: 7, Paul: 5 (out of 10).

Holocaust memorial and museum located in the financial district overlooking the New York Harbor.  This large museum has substantial permanent exhibitions on the Holocaust divided into 3 sections: Jewish life before, during and after the Holocaust.  One floor is devoted to each section.  The exhibits focus on personal experiences, using interviews, photographs and the personal possessions of the people involved.  The museum also has an entire wing devoted to rotating exhibits on the impact of the Holocaust on modern times.
     Museum Rating: Pauline: 6, Paul: 6 (out of 10).
History and Historical Building:
Museum at Eldridge Street
Beautifully restored 1887 Eastern European Othodox Jewish synagogue on the lower east side with amazing stained glass, elaborate brass fixtures and Moorish style detailing.  The synagogue is seen with a very detailed hands-on historical tour, and the basement contains exhibitions devoted to Jewish history in New York.  The synagogue frequently hosts lectures and concerts.
     Museum Rating: Pauline: 9, Paul: 9 (out of 10).

Lower East Side Tenement Museum
Museum in a former tenement building (1863 - 1935).  Tours focus on the actual families that lived in the building, using their stories to illustrate the experiences of different immigrant groups in New York City.  Building has not been fully restored and can only be seen by guided tour.
     Museum Rating: Pauline: 7, Paul: 8 (out of 10).

Small museum next to the World Trade Center site memorializing the destruction of the towers and containing artifacts from Ground Zero Recovery.  Museum hosts detailed walking tours around the perimeter of the site discussing the events of September 11th 2001, led by people who were there that day.
     Museum Rating: Pauline: 6, Paul: 8 (out of 10). 

Fraunces Tavern Museum
New York City's only museum dedicated solely to the American Revolutionary War, located within a reconstructed historic tavern (originally built in 1719).  The tavern was the site of George Washington's farewell to his officers at the end of the war, and one floor preserves the room where this occurred, with period furnishings and details from eye witness accounts.  Other exhibits focus on key events of the revolution, with particular emphasis on the city's role in the war.  The museum is located on two floors about the Fraunces Tavern restaurant and bar, within a preserved block of historic buildings near Wall street.
     Museum Rating: Pauline: 6, Paul: 7 (out of 10).

Federal Hall
Site of New York's first Town Hall, and the location of George Washington's oath of office and inaugural address as the first President of the United States.  The current temple-like structure on Wall street was a Customs House and served as a vault as part of the US Sub-Treasury.  Now the building is a museum and memorial to the first President and the beginnings of the United States of America.
     Museum Rating: Pauline: 5, Paul: 6 (out of 10).
 Castle Clinton
Reproduction of the small circular sandstone fort that once guarded New York City.  The fort has few exhibits, but it's in a scenic location in Battery Park at the tip of Manhattan Island, surrounded by several memorials and close to the departure site for the Statue of Liberty Tours (NY side) and the Staten Island Ferry.
     Museum Rating: Pauline: 2, Paul: 2 (out of 10). 
Industry Museum:
American Numismatic Society Museum
Museum and research institute dedicated to the study of coins from all cultures and countries.  The collection is impressive, consisting of over 800,000 coins, and is particularly strong in ancient Greek and Roman, Islamic, Far Eastern, and U.S. (Colonial and Federal) coinage.  Current exhibition is located within the Federal Reserve, and includes some of the world's most valuable coins.
     Museum Rating: Pauline: 8, Paul: 6 (out of 10). 
 .Museum of American Finance
This museum claims to be "the nation's only independent public museum dedicated to celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship and the democratic free market tradition."  It's appropriately located in the financial district just blocks from the New York Stock Exchange, in the marble covered lobby of a former bank.
     Museum Rating: Pauline: 5, Paul: 5 (out of 10).

Police/Fire Museum:
New York City Police Museum
Museum dedicated to the world's most famous police force: the New York City Police Department.  This three floor museum is located within an historic station house, built in 1911 for the First Precinct in downtown Manhattan.  Many exhibits focus on the past activities of the NY police, with exhibits of antique weaponry, old police equipment, and famous criminals, but there is also a large section on the changing techniques in modern police and anti-terrorist work.  The museum also houses a memorial room honoring officers who died in the line of duty, and artifacts related to the officers who died on 9/11/2001.  Several exhibits are interactive and set up for children, including a replica police cell and a large play room with mock police cars and police work related games. 
     Museum Rating: Pauline: 4, Paul: 5 (out of 10).
Award for Best Museum in Downtown:

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