Museums in Central New York

Museums preserve the rich history of CNY, display beautiful art, and give everyone an inspiring sense of place. Central New Yorkers reap the benefits from a heritage of exploration and creativity, fearless innovation, heroism, and an expansion of liberty and justice for all.

History happened here, and it's fun to see

Central New York's residents benefit from a rich heritage. To understand that history, start with the Onondaga Historical Association museum in downtown Syracuse. The OHA's leaders work with employers to document all the opportunity inspired by CNY's long history of innovation, education, and entrepreneurship. They know how to make the history come alive, so it's never dry and always fun. Maybe that's why the OHA played a lead role in getting a craft brewer to bring back historic Congress Beer.

The OHA also collaborates on satellite museums: Along Onondaga Lake is Skä•noñh Great Law of Peace Center, a Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) center telling the story of the native peoples of Central New York. The Gustav Stickley House in Syracuse's Westcott neighborhood was the home of designer and furniture maker Gustav Stickley, the father of the American Arts and Crafts movement. The Regional Aviation History Museum, inside Hancock International Airport, shows the important roles CNY played in flight. The Military History Museum at the Oncenter War Memorial shows the role CNY soldiers have played since the Revolutionary War.

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A few blocks north of the OHA is the Erie Canal Museum located in the 1850 Syracuse Weighlock Building, the only remaining canal boat weigh station in America. The Salt Museum, on the shore of Onondaga Lake, shows how Syracuse supplied salt for a young nation and provided work for waves of immigrants. Central New York was a center for abolition, and the Harriet Tubman Home, a national park in Auburn, tells the story. CNY also was a center for women rights, stories told in the Matilda Joslyn Gage House in Fayetteville. Fort Stanwix National Monument in Rome preserves the fort that played a critical role in the Revolutionary War, preventing the British and allies from splitting the colonies. These and so many other museums host special events that make it fun to explore CNY history.

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Central New York's museums do more than preserve local history. Long before STEM education became fashionable, Central New Yorkers created places to show the value and fun of science, engineering, and technology. The MOST - the Museum of Science & Technology - is a hands-on experience for people of all ages in downtown Syracuse's Armory Square neighborhood. It includes the only domed IMAX theater in the state. The ScienCenter in Ithaca is another hands-on destination that helps inspire science excitement. The Museum of the Earth is a natural history museum located in Ithaca and operated by the the Paleontological Research Institution. Just 90 minutes away in Rochester is The National Museum of Play, one of America's leading centers serving families.

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When you're ready to be inspired, think of the heroes enshrined at the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum in the village of Peterboro. The museum in rural Madison County is modest but not its stories of courage and fortitude in fighting evil. Less than an hour away in Seneca Falls, the National Women's Hall of Fame tells more stories of courage. When you move to Central New York, it's not hard to find stories that inspire greatness.