The Metropolitan Museum of Art (colloquially The Met), located in New York City, is the largest art museum in the United States with among the most significant art collections. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided among nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan’s Museum Mile, is by area one of the world’s largest art galleries. There is also a much smaller second location at “The Cloisters” in Upper Manhattan that features medieval art.
After negotiations with the City of New York in 1871, the Met was granted the land between the East Park Drive, Fifth Avenue, and the 79th and 85th Street Transverse Roads in Central Park. A red-brick and stone “mausoleum” was designed by American architect Calvert Vaux and his collaborator Jacob Wrey Mould. Vaux’s ambitious building was not well received; the building’s High Victorian Gothic style being already dated prior to completion, and the president of the Met termed the project “a mistake.” Within 20 years, a new architectural plan engulfing the Vaux building was already being executed. Since that time, many additions have been made including the distinctive Beaux-Arts Fifth Avenue facade, Great Hall, and Grand Stairway. These were designed by architect and Met trustee Richard Morris Hunt, but completed by his son, Richard Howland Hunt in 1902 after his father’s death. The wings that completed the Fifth Avenue facade in the 1910s were designed by the firm of McKim, Mead & White. The modernistic glass sides and rear of the museum are the work of Roche-Dinkeloo. Kevin Roche has been the architect for the master plan and expansion of the museum for the past 42 years. He is responsible for designing all of its new wings and renovations including but not limited to the American Wing, Greek, and Roman Court, and recently opened Islamic Wing.
As of 2010, the Met measures almost 1⁄4-mile (400 m) long and with more than 2,000,000 square feet (190,000 m2) of floor space, more than 20 times the size of the original 1880 building. The museum building is an accretion of over twenty structures, most of which are not visible from the exterior. The City of New York owns the museum building and contributes utilities, heat, and some of the cost of guardianship.
(description from Wikipedia)