NY1 Covers Toy Museum Opening

NY1 covers The Toy Museum of New York which opened this week on Montague Street:

NY1: Tucked away inside St. Ann’s Church in Brooklyn Heights is a treasure trove of toys. The Toy Museum of New York has opened on the second floor of the church, and its one room is packed with hundreds of toys dating back to the 1870s.

“We’re so thrilled to finally show New Yorkers our collection, and we welcome everybody to come and see us,” says Toy Museum founder Marlene Hochman.

All of the items on display are donated, from Lincoln Logs which first debuted in 1916, to an original 1939 View-Master, to a 1950s Lego set. The most recent toys in the collection are from the 1980s.

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  • T.K. Small

    For the life of me, I do not understand how it is still possible 19 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act that this museum was opened in a completely inaccessible location. Didn’t someone realize that a flight of stairs is an absolute barrier to someone in a wheelchair?

  • Cranberry Beret

    I don’t disagree with your second question – it should be part of the consciousness by now that if you open up any space to the public in this day and age, you should try to make it accessible (regardless of the law’s requirements). As to your first question, I believe religious institutions are exempt from the ADA, and if they have secular tenants, the tenant is exempt from ADA if the space is donated but subject to ADA if the space is leased.

  • T.K. Small

    Cranberry Beret: Thank you for responding to my comment thoughtfully. It would have been easy to twist my statement into an exaggerated complaint. You might be right that the toy museum could be exempt under the ADA, but I think that the situation is more complex and might boil down to a very particular assessment of the facts. Is this in fact a “religious organization” and, what if any, consideration has been exchanged? Also, NYC and NYS also have human rights statutes which are many times more broadly applied.

    In doing some preliminary research, it seems that the museum has received funding from both NYC & NYS which might change the legal arguments significantly. Prior to the ADA, there was the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which still is in force. Without going into too much detail, Sec. 504 of the Rehab Act prohibits any entity that receives federal funding from discrimination. Certainly NYC and NYS receive federal funding so there might be liability regardless of the limited exemptions under the ADA.

  • the banned

    Mr. small, if you are seeking a hometown where everything is accessible, I think you are making a poor choice of living in a little old historic neighborhood like Brooklyn Heights where the houses and buildings are a challenge even for the able bodied.
    You should look into modern towns built on flat topography such as Fort Myers or Sarasota or Naples -all lovely, brand-new towns in Florida where all the buildings are one-story or have elevators.

  • The Where

    The Banned I hope Homer finally banishes you after that stupid comment.

  • T.K. Small

    Thank you TW.

  • http://www.toymuseumny.org The Toy Museum

    Thank you for your interest in The Toy Museum. The St. Ann’s Church space is one of several temporary exhibit spaces for the Toy Museum. Our programs and activities have a continuity of concept and presentation at all locations. Every effort is made to show our exhibits at spaces that are fully accessible. For example, two other locations with substantially the same exhibit as the one at St Ann’s are available for viewing at the Brooklyn Heights & Bay Ridge public libraries as well as the Waukesha County Museum. We will discuss the possibility of increased accessibility for this location’s temporary, seasonal exhibit with the St Ann’s facility manager. A major goal of our organization is securing a permanent and fully accessible home for our museum and we appreciate your comments and guidance.

    The Museum Staff

  • T.K. Small

    Hello Toy Museum Staff:

    Thank you for acknowledging that the overall accessibility of The Toy Museum is a legitimate concern. Likewise, thank you for clarifying that the Montague Street location is only temporary. From everything that I have read, the St. Ann’s location sounded permanent. I will try to visit one of the other exhibits that you mention.