Central New York's only Children's Museum is permanently chartered by the Board of Regents of New York State. We are located in the historic Main Street district of downtown Utica between majestic Union Station and Bagg's Square Memorial Park. The location, near the ancient fording place of the Mohawk River and the sites of Old Forts Schuyler and Stanwix, houses the only permanent exhibit of the history and origins of the Mohawk Valley.
History: One of the oldest children's museum's in the country, we were organized in the October of 1963 by the Junior League. Originally called the Junior Museum of Oneida County, our museum began in the basement of the Utica Public Library. The museum consisted of one exhibit, an Iroquois Longhouse which we still exhibit. The idea of a museum for area children caught on quickly and the museum started to grow. In October 1965, due to lack of space at the library, it moved to the former Department of Parks & Recreation Building at the Southeast corner of the Memorial Parkway and Oneida Street. In its nine year stay there, the museum developed a variety of permanent exhibits and a large range of educational programs. Interest increased steadily so that by 1974 more than 21,000 adults and children were participating. November of 1974 saw the museum move to the upstairs of the Valley View Country Club. This new location provided badly needed space for the many exhibits, storage, and gift shop. In 1975, the name of the organization was changed to Mohawk Valley Museum.
Forty years later, in July of 1979, the museum was again relocated, this time to its current location in the historic Bagg's Square area. The former John C. Heiber Dry Goods Building, at 311 Main Street, Utica, NY was purchased for $35,000 by borrowing that sum from the Oneida National Bank and Trust Company of Central New York. At this time, the name of the organization was changed to The Children's Museum of History, Natural History, and Science. The five story brick building, constructed at the turn of the century, once drew visitors who came on the train from as far away as Albany and Syracuse to shop for dry goods. The interesting Romanesque Revival exterior remains as imposing as ever, and the charm of the period remains inside with its decoratively paneled central oak staircase, an original glass and wood paneled office, and fourteen foot high ceiling sheathed in fancy pressed tin. For years, three of the five floors, each floor approximately 6,000 square feet, were used for exhibit and program areas. In 2002, the mortgage on the building was paid off, the fourth floor was opened, and the name was changed to The Children's Museum of History, Natural History, Science, and Technology. One of the oldest children's museums in the country, in 2002 The Children's Museum became the only museum in the country to be adopted by NASA, National Aeronautic & Space Administration & DOE OS, Dept. of Energy's Office of Science). The Museum is a hands-on learning center with emphasis on local history, environmental science, the arts, and space science. Our Educational Enrichment Programs enhance learning for children of all ages. Four floors encompassing a total of 24,000 square feet of exhibition space, the Museum is located in the former Hieber Dry Goods Building at 311 Main Street, Utica. Exhibitions include Playspace, a unique larger than life wooden train activity center for children age 5 and younger; Exploration Station a play village with numerous stores to explore for younger children; the Dinorama, a multimedia display of dinosaur models and fossils; the Diorama, a multimedia display of the history of Central New York; a reconstruction of an Iroquois Longhouse; the Living Science Learning Center which houses live animal and insect displays, the Weather Room which features Doppler Radar programs, plus several other interactive exhibits including musical instruments and our Saturn car.
Our 4th floor features exhibits on ""Transportation Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow"". This new addition to an already great children's museum features Utica Fire Department artifacts & an old fire engine, Utica Police Department artifacts & exhibits kids can explore, and the original Amtrak railway switching station. And we have a 17 foot airplane the kids can actually climb into and pretend to fly! Thanks to Congressman Sherwood Boehlert, NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, and Dept. of Energy's Office of Science Director Raymond Orbach, we have several really cool space & science exhibits! Become a corporate sponsor and help sponsor our continued growth! The Museum also has an outdoor display of real trains including an Adirondack Railroad Engine, a Dining Car, a Caboose and a Steam Engine, Old 6721, which was recently acquired by the National Railway Historic Society and is on display at a nearby track in the Union Station Yard at the Rear of the Museum. The Museum does educational programs for local school groups throughout the three county area that it serves. A collaboration between the Children's Museum, PRI (Paleontologial Research Institution) in Ithaca, and the MOST in Syracuse makes Education Programs in Earth Science, Fossils and Dinosaurs available to the Mohawk Valley area. The Museum is the Utica site of the Erie Canal Schoolboat and collaborates with the Railway Association. The Museum hosts birthday parties in the newly renovated Birthday Community Room. The Museum also hosts Corporate and Association meetings in the Community Room and on our 2nd floor stage. Public sculpture done for and by children is sited in Bagg's Square Park, which has become an outdoor Learning Annex to the Museum with programs in History and the Environment. The Museum is totally accessible to persons with disabilities, has a ramp and an elevator to accommodate the needs of visitors.
Normal Museum Hours: Monday - Friday, 10:00am - 4:00pm Saturday, 10:30am - 4:00pm Sunday, closed (train outside is open)
Summer Museum Hours: Monday - Friday, 10:00am - 3:30pm Saturday, 10:30am - 3:30pm
Winter Museum Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 10:00am - 3:30pm Saturday, 10:30am - 4:00pm Wednesday and Sunday, closed (train outside is open from 12pm to 3pm).
Sunday, closed (train outside is open). Check our Calendar for our holiday schedule, days we may be closed for renovations, and special events.
Admission: $4.00 per person Children under 12 months (1 year of age) Free Members free (during special event programs, Members get a reduced rate)
Group Rates: $3.50 per person for groups of 10 or more for a visit $4.50 per person for groups of 10 or more for visit & program
Contact Info: Marlene B. Brown, Executive Director The Children's Museum 311 Main Street Utica, NY 13511 Tel: 315-724-6129
Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art
The Museum of Art offers 20 galleries featuring selections from the permanent collection and exhibitions of works from major collections worldwide. Find out about the more than 25,000 American and European 18th-, 19th, and 20th-century paintings and 19th-century decorative arts shown in the Philip Johnson-designed museum and Fountain Elms, a refurbished 1850s mansion and original home of MWPAI's founders. In 1962 Architectural Forum magazine cited the Johnson building as one of 10 new structures around the world that contributed significantly to the art of architecture during the decade. The Johnson building and Fountain Elms are connected by a new Museum Education Wing that opened in 1995.
The art collection features more than 25,000 American 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century paintings, drawings, sculptures, 19th-century decorative arts, photographs, European paintings, and European and Asian works on paper. There are works in the collection by Copley, Dali, Frankenthaler, Kandinsky, Mondrian, O'Keeffe, Picasso, Pollock, Prendergast, Rothenberg, Stella and Whistler. Also featured is the popular ""Voyage of Life"" series by Thomas Cole. Decorative arts makers included are John Henry Belter, Herter Brothers, Alexander Roux and Tiffany & Co. Touring exhibitions feature selections from major collections worldwide. Fountain Elms has been restored as a showcase for the finest in Victorian-era decorative arts. Galleries offer changing exhibitions of nineteenth-century furniture, silver, ceramics, glass, textiles, and the renowned Proctor watch collection.
Hours: Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: (315) 797-0000
Fax: (315) 797-5608
Mail: MWPAI Museum of Art 310 Genesee Street Utica, NY 13502
Oneida County Historical Society Museum
Founded in 1876, The Oneida County Historical Society collects and commemorates the history of Central New York in general and County of Oneida in particular. From the Battlefield at Oriskany to the Boilermaker Road Race of today; the Native Americans who first called this land home to the later inhabitants who shaped local and national destinies, Oneida County has a remarkable history - filled with important events and fascinating figures. We continue to make history every day. The Oneida County Historical Society offers a museum, historical and genealogical reference library, programs and book/gift shop in Utica's landmark former Christian Science Church. Membership is one of the most rewarding ways you and your family can experience the excitement of Oneida County's past, present and future. We invite you to join us in this adventure. Accessibility Thanks to the generous support of Oneida County Executive Ralph Eannace, the Oneida County Legislators, Assemblywoman RoAnn DeStito, and many individual donors, Your History Place is now accessible to the physically challenged.
Critical Research Your History Place conducts critical research on a wide variety of topics for family history researchers, students, teachers, businesses, government, authors, and others. The Society is part of the Mid-York Library System and has free high-speed Internet connections available. Growing Collections The Society cares for over 250,000 documents and books, tens of thousands of images (photographs, paintings, slides, drawings, etc.) and thousands of artifacts. Many are rare collection items that provide invaluable information for researchers. Sources include: Manuscripts, bibles, family histories, newspaper clippings, Photographs, and city directories from 1817 - 1989. Teacher workshops Your History Place conducts teacher workshops on a variety of topics and our new Walking Tour to help area teachers educate students about our rich local history. Our primary source document teaching materials have been adopted throughout New York and in other states. Book and Gift Shoppe Your History Place publishes many significant books, occasional papers, photographic collections, and its regular newsletter for members, the Oniota. The Book & Gift Shoppe offers the region's most complete stock of New York State books.
Hours of Operation Tuesday - Friday 10:00 am to 4:30 pm Saturday 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Admission $5.00 to use the library for non-members.
Location 1608 Genesee St. Utica, NY 13502
Contact (315) 735-3642
Stanley Theater of Utica, New York
The Stanley opened September 10, 1928 and has been the premier showplace for Central New York ever since. Thomas Lamb, a prolific theater architect, designed this 2,945 seat movie palace for the Mastbaum chain of theaters. The theater was named for Stanley, one of the Mastbaum brothers. The design of the theater is dubbed ""Mexican baroque"" because of its unique blend of styles. The terra cotta and tiled mosaic exterior shows the Mexican influence, while Hapsburg Lions, Indian faces, and a multitude of angels and putti (cherubs) grace the lavish baroque ""gold-leaf"" interior of the theater. The Moorish influence is apparent in the star-splashed ceiling and the twisted columns on each side of the stage. There is even an art-deco look to some of the drapery treatments in the organ boxes. The Central New York Community Arts Council, Inc. purchased the Stanley in 1974. Over $5.5 million has been spent to date on its brilliant restoration.
Since its purchase, CNYCAC has upgraded all mechanical, electrical, and safety systems and is continuing to provide technical improvements to accommodate the many touring shows and artists that appear at the Stanley. The seats have been restored and most of the interior has been refinished to its original condition. New carpeting has been installed that replicates the original pattern. There are four major local presenters that use the Stanley: the Broadway Theatre League, which brings in touring Broadway shows; the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Great Artists Series which features the best in opera, recital artists, and dance companies; the Utica Symphony Orchestra; and the Mohawk Valley Ballet.
Recent events at the Stanley include The Indigo Girls, Jesus Christ Superstar, Saturday Night Fever, Itzhak Perlman, The Canadian Brass, Judy Collins, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, The Spirit of the Dance, B.B. King, Trey Anastasio, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Jerry Seinfeld. The elegant Stanley lobbies are the site for many receptions and meetings throughout the year. It has also become a local tradition for wedding parties to have their photographs taken on the grand staircases in the lobby. (Legend has it that one staircase was designed to resemble the grand staircase on the Titanic ocean liner). Every ticket sold to a Stanley event includes $2 to help pay for the continued restoration of this magnificent showplace. Major funding has also come from the Natural Heritage Trust of the State of New York, the County of Oneida, the City of Utica and many private sources.
For event tickets, a tour, or information, call the Stanley ticket office at 724-4000.
The Central New York Community Arts Council, Inc. is a major arts service organization that serves Oneida, Herkimer and Madison Counties. One of its many programs is the Arts in Education Institute, which brings arts experiences to schoolchildren of all ages. For more information on CNYCAC programs, call 724-1113.
Please visit www.cnyarts.com for further information.
The Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area
Utica Marsh is a unique urban wetland situated partly on the edge of the City of Utica, partly in the Town of Marcy, sandwiched between the Mohawk River on the south and the New York State Barge Canal on the north. The mixture of cattail wetlands, wet meadows, open water pools and flooded willows create a diverse marsh habitat that harbors a tremendous variety of plants and animals, especially birds. In the late 1970's, the City of Utica awarded DEC 50 acres of river floodplain with the condition that the state begin buying additional land here and managing this wetland area. Now the WMA 213 totals acres, has 2 observation towers, one handicapped accessible viewing platform, several trails complete with boardwalks over the wet areas, water control dikes, parking areas, a pavilion and car top boat launch site on the Mohawk River. A large parking lot and boat ramp are located on the Barge Canal just off the north west corner of the WMA and a bike trail passes along the marsh and barge canal on the north.
One important partner of Utica Marsh is the Utica Marsh Council, Inc. The volunteer members organize the marsh cleanup, the first Saturday in May, a major outreach event to City residents, to involve them in caring for the marsh. The Council is a big promoter of the Utica Marsh as an educational field laboratory and through their efforts, school and college classes from throughout the Mohawk Valley visit the marsh to learn about wetland ecology. Visit their web site to learn more about the marsh. Other important friends and partners of the Utica Marsh are Congressman Sherwood Boehlert, Audubon New York, Department of Transportation, Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Utica. These partners and more met recently to kick of an effort to enhance the educational features of Utica Marsh that would include more of the eastern reaches of the WMA that are little used and include an Audubon New York educational center. Get to Utica Marsh WMA by turning north off Route 5A (Oriskany Blvd.) onto Barnes Ave. There is a parking area at the end of Barnes Ave, down a little hill to the right, or the pavilion location is down a right-of-way lane to the right called Doucharm Road.
The Utica Symphony Orchestra
The Utica Symphony Orchestra, as one of only a small number of professional symphonies serving Central New York, provides high quality symphonic music that is accessible to all residents of our region; and actively contributes to the economic, social and educational development of the Mohawk Valley through performance and outreach activities. Programs are funded, in part, by the County of Oneida, Natural Heritage Trust and the New York Council on the Arts. The Utica Symphony Orchestra is a member of the American Symphony Orchestra League, the Arts Coalition of the Cultural Corridor, the Arts Summit, and the Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce.
UTICA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 505 Henry Street Utica, NY 13502 Administrative Offices: (315) 732-5146 Fax: (315) 732-5147
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