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The Secret Museum Tucked Into One of New York City's Elevators

Exhibits include objects made by or for U.S. prisoners, fake vomit from around the world, and a series of stolen tip jars.

Garrett Ziegler

There is a secret one-room museum tucked away in a Tribeca freight elevator. With 80 square feet split between display space, a shop, and a cafe, it could appear on a list of the world’s smallest museums, though its featured exhibitions are far more expansive. Among the featured collections this season are "Objects Made for Prisoners or by Prisoners in US Prisons," "Fake Vomit From Around the World," a series of stolen tip jars, and "Surf and Turf Potato Chips." That this grouping of ephemera and left-over objects is displayed in an abandoned elevator makes a certain kind of poetic sense.

Though the museum is only open occasionally (weekends?), the objects within are always visible through the transparent doors of the elevator. Viewers can call a toll-free number and punch in another set of digits (each object on display has its own extension) to get information about each curio. With its secretive location and distinctive collection the space, titled simply Museum (or sometimes Mmuseumm), is one of New York City’s hidden gems. Check out Museum on the web or on the ‘Gram.

All images by Garrett Ziegler.

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

  • A.J. Artemel is a second-year student at Yale School of Architecture. He holds a BS Arch and a Minor in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia.