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Guggenheim Turns 50

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Admission to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum at 5th Avenue and E. 89th Street is free today from 10 AM to 5:45 PM, in honor of the museum's fiftieth anniversary.

Guggenheim staff will host guided tours during the day, sponsor a raffle, and screen the documentary film Art, Architecture, and Innovation: Celebrating the Guggenheim Museum.

If you can't make it to the iconic circular museum today, you can head online for a live Twitter tour of the building.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed The Guggenheim before its 1959 opening.

"Mr. Wright's greatest building, New York's greatest building," Architect Philip Johnson told Time Magazine the year the museum opened.

Others saw the building a curvy eyesore, incongruous with its Upper East Side surroundings.

Robert Moses, then a New York City Parks Commissioner and Metropolitan Museum trustee, called Wright's building "an inverted oatmeal dish," Time reported in 1959.

In response, Wright said, "it's going to make the Metropolitan Museum look like a Protestant barn."

Another iconic building, the Empire State Building, will shine red tonight to celebrate the museum's fiftieth.