Manhattan's oldest (and perhaps most under-the-radar) museum, founded in 1804, boasts one of the city's finest research libraries in addition to a contemporary glass facade, sleek interactive technology, a children's museum, restaurant, and inventive exhibitions that showcase the museum's eclectic collections and unique voice. While the permanent collection of more than 6 million pieces of art, literature, and memorabilia sheds light on America's history, art, and architecture, the special exhibitions showcase the museum's fresh—and often surprising—insight on all things New York. The Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture (due to reopen by 2017) on the fourth floor of the museum will include a new Center for the Study of Women's History, with permanent and rotating exhibits that examine and celebrate New York's central role in women's history, especially for New Yorkers like Eleanor Roosevelt, Zora Neale Hurston, and Margaret Sanger. The DiMenna Children's History
Museum on the lower level invites children to become "history detectives" and explore New York's past through interactive displays, hands-on activities, and the stories of iconic New York children through the centuries. The Historical Viewfinder allows kids to see how certain New York sites have changed over time. Unlike most other children's museums, this museum is geared to mature elementary and middle schoolers, not toddlers. Caffé Storico, the light-filled restaurant on the first floor (with a separate entrance), serves upscale Italian food at lunch and dinner and is open for weekend brunch.