As mentioned in our newsletter this morning, the Guggenheim turns 50 today (and is celebrating with free admission). The Daily News looks back on the museum's past, with 50 facts about the building, which Robert Moses once described as "an inverted oatmeal dish." A few of our favorites:

  • To design the museum, Wright created more than 700 sketches.
  • As for the unusual look of the building, Wright proclaimed, "It's going to make the Metropolitan look like a Protestant barn."
  • The building was named a landmark in 1990, one of the youngest ever to earn the distinction.
  • Wednesday night, the Empire State Building will be lit "Guggenheim red" in celebration of the museum's anniversary. Early on, Wright wanted the museum to be crimson, which he described as "the color of creation." Rebay wrote back, "Red is a color which displeases [founder Solomon Guggenheim] as much as it does me."
  • 13. It took $3 million to build Wright's structure. The restoration of the exterior between 2005 and 2008 cost $29 million.
  • In one of Wright's original concepts, visitors to the museum would have been whisked via glass-tube elevator to the top of the building, where they could relax in a garden under a glass dome and then stroll down the ramp to view the art.

Why not head over for their Kandinsky retrospective and wish the ol' gal a happy birthday?