Originally established in the late 19th century, the Staten Island Museum is the premier institution of its kind in Staten Island, New York City. From insects and fish to mammals and reptiles, this museum has an extensive collection of diverse specimens. Art galleries and local history exhibits are also included at the Staten Island Museum, which is part of the scenic Snug Harbor Cultural Center.
Exhibits and Highlights
The permanent collection at the Staten Island Museum includes paintings, ceramics, drawings, and other items from the local area and other parts of the world. Some of the most exotic artifacts include African masks, Oriental scriptures, statues from ancient Mediterranean civilizations, and accessories from the Pacific region. You’ll also find plenty of landscape paintings by American artists from the 19th and 20th centuries.
The natural science collection at the Staten Island Museum focuses on various disciplines that are relevant to the local geography. More than half a million insect specimens are in the possession of the museum. The ornithology division includes more than 3,000 items, such as preserved eggs and skeletons of birds. The collections at the museum are further classified into paleontology, geology, conchology, and other categories relating to the study of the natural world.
With a heritage that dates back to the 1880s, the Staten Island Museum is one of the oldest cultural institutions of its kind in New York City. The entity was originally established by local residents who wanted to preserve local nature, culture, and history. A prominent botanist in the 19th century, Nathaniel Lord Britton passionately participated in the museum’s management and expansion. He’s also credited with establishing the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.
For most of the 20th century and early part of the 21st Century, the Staten Island Museum occupied a part of the historic St. George Building. In 2016, the organization relocated to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center just a few miles away. After an extensive renovation that cost more than 30 million dollars, Building A at Snug Harbor officially opened to the public. Since then, the traditional St. George Building has been primarily used for research and other official applications that aren’t accessible to the public.
Featuring tall columns, a frieze, and other neoclassical features, Building A has been beautifully restored by a local architectural firm. Also affiliated with the museum, the History Center & Archives is part of Snug Harbor. Additionally, the Staten Island Museum plans to expand into the neighboring Building B.
Visiting Staten Island Museum
The Staten Island Museum is situated on the historic grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural Center, which is perhaps the most visited complex in the borough. Occupying more than 80 lush acres, the serene and scenic Snug Harbor is easily accessible from Richmond Terrace. Running along the northern perimeter of Staten Island, this two-way road is one of the busiest in the area.
Plenty of on-site parking for passenger cars and commercial vehicles is available throughout the grounds of Snug Harbor. If you prefer to use public transportation, then take the S40 bus that’s part of the regional operations of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York City.
Perhaps the most fun and interesting way to reach Staten Island is by the Staten Island Ferry. This express service runs between Lower Manhattan’s St. George Terminal and Whitehall Terminal. The Staten Island Museum is located just over two miles away from the ferry terminal. If you don’t mind an extended stroll to the museum, just follow the waterfront promenades along Richmond Terrace. The riverfront walkways actually offer some of the best views of the New York Harbor, including the Statue of Liberty.
Location: 1000 Richmond Terrace, Building A, Staten Island, New York, NY, 10301
Click here to visit Staten Island Museum official website.