The Met sure is having a big week! First their Costume Institute Ball brought all the big names out, and then the NY Times reported on their recent renovation. They explain that in the 1970s the museum "unveiled a plan to create its own Crystal Palace in Central Park—a glass-enclosed, glass-roofed space to house its expanded American Wing—Community Planning Board 8 voted 24 to 1 against the proposal, and one board member called it a rape of the park." That board member was likely feeling violated around 1980, when the American Wing opened, and perhaps even more so now, following two years of construction and renovations it will open up to the public on May 19th.

The space now has 30% more room to display artwork, though the $100 million project won't be completely finished until 2011. One thing visitors will notice are the period rooms, which the paper notes were formerly disorganized but "have been rearranged so that visitors take an architectural journey, beginning with 17th-century Puritan Massachusetts and ending with an early-20th-century living room from a house in Wayzata, Minn., designed by Frank Lloyd Wright." Check out a behind-the-scenes tour after the jump.