NY Transit Museum Annex Reopening & New Exhibit: Where New York Began…

If I haven’t said it before, I think it is pretty cool that MTA has been embracing social media, and the various agencies have twitter accounts. There’s MTA, Metro-North, Long Island Rail Road, New York City Buses, New York City Subways, MetroCard Promotions, and the NY Transit Museum. The Transit Museum seems to be the newest of the bunch. A little less than a month ago, the museum sent a tweet, giving a little sneak preview of the new exhibit opening in the Annex in Grand Central, which has been closed since January:

How long does it take to make exhibit mounts for 100 ceramic sherds? Our preparators will know soon.

Why exactly were they making exhibit mounts for ceramic sherds? It doesn’t much sound like something transit-related. But in fact, all of the objects on display in the new exhibit do in fact relate to public transit… they were all excavated from under the South Ferry subway station. I’ll let the museum take it from here:

Construction in New York City is always complex, but it raises particular concerns when it cuts through the most archeologically rich section of town. In February 2009 a new South Ferry subway station opened on the southernmost tip of Manhattan, a place where environmental, historical, and commercial interests collide. In order to build the station, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) was required to conduct an archeological review and excavation. This provided an extraordinary glimpse into the very place that the modern city has its roots, and the basis of an exciting new exhibit at the New York Transit Museum. Where New York Began: Archeology at the South Ferry Terminal will be on view at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store from March 18 – July 5, 2010.

In addition to unearthing portions of the city’s early infrastructure, excavations yielded over 65,000 artifacts, including ceramic sherds, shells, coins, tobacco pipes, and architectural materials. These pieces document 400 years of city life and embody the cycle of building, razing, and rebuilding that is a hallmark of New York City. Over 100 of these objects will be on view along with historic maps and photographs, and field images and video of the archeologists at work.

This also marks the grand reopening of the museum’s retail store, which features a dynamic new design, new fixtures and lighting to better showcase the Museum’s unique product mix.

The museum is going to have an opening for members on the 18th, which I will be attending. I’ll be sure to take lots of photographs, and post them up!