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The Met Fifth Avenue: Green Features

Masha Turchinsky and Aliza Sena
April 19, 2018

The Met Fifth Avenue Overhead Shot

A view of the south wing of The Met Fifth Avenue as seen from above. Photo by Joseph Coscia

«Ever wonder how The Met stays green? No, not the color green! Saving energy and resources at the largest museum in the U.S. is no small task. The Met Fifth Avenue building alone is four city blocks long!»

Tom Javits, Vice President for Construction and Facilities, is a Met expert who thinks about how The Met can stay eco-friendly. He oversees construction projects inside the building and out. We asked him a few #MetKids questions about the plaza in front of the Museum along Fifth Avenue, about how The Met conserves energy, and about some interesting building features for visitors to check out.

#MetKids team: We're standing outside the building, and there's a lot to see. We notice fountains, people, and many little tables and chairs. What are some cool features that visitors should know about the David H. Koch Plaza?

Tom Javits: The new trees have a shared soil bed that promotes fast growth. The fountains run on a computerized system that changes the height of the water depending upon the wind. (Fun horticultural fact: those are little leaf linden trees.)

#MetKids team: Does The Met think about the environment? What steps has The Met taken to make its building projects greener?

Tom Javits: We recycle as much as we can. We use energy-efficient light bulbs; we have 70,000 of them. We also reuse rainwater to water the plaza trees. The Museum uses the same amount of electricity as 10,000 homes, so everything we can do to save energy really has a big impact on lowering the city's carbon footprint.

The Met Fifth Avenue building with a view of David H. Koch Plaza.

A view of the David H. Koch Plaza. Photo by Wilson Santiago

#MetKids team: Do you know what happens to all of the coins thrown into The Met's fountains?

Tom Javits: We collect and wash them. Every little bit helps support the Museum's programs.

#MetKids team: What is your favorite place in the Museum to spend a few moments to relax?

Tom Javits: I like the Temple of Dendur. I also like to relax under the red umbrellas on the plaza.

This post was originally published on the MetKids blog on July 13, 2016.

Visit #MetKids, a digital feature made for, with, and by kids! Discover fun facts about works of art, hop in our time machine, watch behind-the-scenes videos, and get ideas for your own creative projects.

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Masha Turchinsky

Masha Turchinsky was formerly a senior manager and senior producer of media production and online features in the Digital Department.

Aliza Sena

Aliza Sena was formerly the associate coordinator for media production and online features in the Digital Department.