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!

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Temporary Closure of the Transit Museum Annex in GCT, Alternate locations for TransitChek

Starting on January 19th, and continuing into March, the Transit Museum’s Annex in Grand Central Terminal will be closed for renovations. New fixtures and lights will be added in that time, a redesigned store, as well as a new exhibit. The reopening date in March has not been announced yet. When I hear anything about the reopening of the Annex, I will let you all know.

If you need to purchase any transportation items or gifts from the museum, you can either visit the museum’s main location in Brooklyn, or purchase items online at transitmuseumstore.com.

Anyone who normally uses the museum to redeem a TransitChek, or a Commuter Check for a MetroCard, there are several alternate locations you can use during this time period:


Turtle Bay Chemists 901 Second Avenue at 48th St. 212-752-5151
E.G.I. Check Cashing 117 E. 41st Street (Lex & Park) 212-661-9595
Royal Convenience Inc. 589 Third Avenue at 39th St. 212 687-2299

Commuter Check

New York Check Express 117 East 41st Street (Lex Ave) 212-661-9595
Hil-Nil Corporation 520 Madison Avenue at 53rd St. 212-832-2481
New York Check Express 660 Lexington Avenue at 55th St. 212-750-1070

In regards to TransitCheks for Metro-North, some people have written in saying that the additional ticket window closures will make it difficult to cash their TransitCheks. Now I have never done this, but a few friends of mine have, and claim this is acceptable. Use your monthly ticket from the previous month on the morning of the first day of the new month. Tell the Conductor that when you arrive at your destination (Grand Central) you will be purchasing a new monthly ticket, since you need to purchase the ticket from an actual person. My friends insist that you are able to use your old monthly on the first day of the new month, only for the morning ride. Has anyone else done this before? Is doing that considered acceptable?

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