In a Colonial Revival building designed for the museum in the 1930s, the city's history and many quirks are revealed through engaging exhibits here. The museum is currently in the last phase of a three-part, $90 million renovation that will upgrade and modernize the entire facility. Improvements to date include a new climate-control system, new flooring, an updated lobby and terrace, a redesigned gift shop, and restored historical elements throughout the building. The third phase of the modernization includes renovating the North Wing to create three continuous floors of gallery space, a state-of-the-art auditorium, and a new café. Renovations are expected to be complete in mid-to-late 2015. In the meantime, the museum remains open, and rotating exhibits on subjects such as architecture, fashion, history, and politics are still on display. Recent exhibits City as Canvas: New York City Graffiti and Gilded New York provided contrasting visual accounts of the city–exploring
street art in New York City during the 1970s and 80s and the culture of the elite class at the end of the 19th century. Don't miss Timescapes, a 25-minute media projection that innovatively illustrates New York's physical expansion and population changes, or Activist New York, an ongoing exploration of the city's history of social activism. The museum hosts New York–centric lectures, films, and walking tours. When you're finished touring the museum, cross the street and stroll through the Vanderbilt Gates to enter the Conservatory Garden, one of Central Park's hidden gems.