Crystal Palace Supplement

Welcome to the New York Crystal Palace!

Welcome to the New York Crystal Palace!

When it first opened in 1853, the exhibition was the country’s first opportunity to showcase its technological and artistic achievements alongside an impressive collection of works from around the world. Owing to the breadth and complexity of the materials gathered, guidebooks became a popular and necessary companion for the locals and tourists who flocked to witness the Palace’s many wonders. This interactive, which is modeled after a period illustrated newspaper, is a reimagining of those guidebooks and will provide you with information about the Crystal Palace, the Latting Observatory, and many other attractions around New York City during the mid-nineteenth century.  Explore each of the images throughout to learn more. We hope you enjoy your visit.


From its glorious dome to its dramatic steel and glass exterior, The New York Crystal Palace building is as much a marvel as the exhibits within its halls. Explore the detailed lithograph by Nathaniel Currier to learn more about the many features of this edifice and the inspirations behind its design.

Take a look inside

Opposite the northern entrance of the Crystal Palace, you will find the Latting Observatory, a 350-foot-high wooden tower that offers panoramic views of the city. Come to admire the vista, but also make sure to stop and have a delicious refreshment at the Observatory’s saloon, or at one of the many stands surrounding the Crystal Palace. You will also find plenty of attractions, activities, and oddities in the lively street scene outside the exhibits, so grab a grog, some oysters, and join the revelry.

After you have visited the Crystal Palace and the Latting Observatory, why not explore some of the other attractions that New York City has to offer? Whether you are a resident or visiting for the first time, you will not want to miss the Hippodrome in Madison Square, Barnum’s world-famous museum, or Brady’s daguerreotype studio. To learn more about these and other attractions, and to find the best routes for getting to the Crystal Palace and around the city, browse our helpful visitor’s map.