Since opening as a cultural space in 2006 the Park Avenue Armory has established itself as one of the premier creative venues in the city. The massive indoor space of the Armory provides a versatile and inviting canvas for artists, theater companies, and musicians and has played host to some of the most intriguing and memorable art installations and performances of the 21st century. The historic building itself is well worth a tour, but it is the risk-taking shows and performances that bring sold-out crowds to the Armory month after month.
What You Will See
The Park Avenue Armory itself is the institution's main claim to any sort of permanent collection. The block-sized, crenelated building dominates the Park Avenue landscape with its unique red brick architecture. On-going work has restored the officer lounges to their original splendor. While you can tour the building itself, the real draw of the Armory is the wide variety of shows, concerts, plays, and events that fill the massive training room. It is impossible to generalize Armory events: some are hyper-contemporary art installations, some are immersive theater productions, and some cannot be described at all. It can be pricey to visit, but make an effort; exhibitions here are the talk of the season.
Why You Should Go
The only limitation to artistic and performance creativity in Manhattan is space. The Park Avenue Armory is the only institution on the island capable of ignoring that limitation. It's not that what you see here other institutions are unwilling to host--it's that other museums, galleries, and parks simply cannot host them. Almost an entire city block is housed in an open, gymnasium-like space that has been filled with giant swings, a recreated moon landing, a replica of Shakespeare's Globe Theater, and an entire circus. If you can afford to go (and manage to get tickets well ahead of time), you should not miss any of the Armory's programming