Historic House Trust of New York City a not-for-profi t organization was created in 1989 to preserve and promote the historic houses located in New York City parks. Working in partnership with the City of New York Parks & Recreation, the goal of the Trust is to provide new levels of attention, support and specialized care to benefi t these museums.

Constructed in Sweden of native pine and cedar, the model schoolhouse was dismantled, packed in crates, and shipped across the Atlantic, then re-erected by Swedish craftsmen on the Exposition grounds. Furnished with desks and chalkboards, and staffed by Swedish teachers, the popular pavilion welcomed many visitors.

Impressed by the ornament and utility of the Swedish School House, Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park, secured an appropriation from the City of New York to purchase it. In 1877, the little building was dismantled once again, and reconstructed on the west side of the Park.

In 1939, New York City Parks Commissioner Robert Moses created a touring marionette theater to perform on playgrounds during the summer and in school auditoriums during the winter. Eight years later, in 1947, the troupe moved into the Swedish School House, which thereafter served as its workshop and headquarters. In 1973, the interior of the building was redesigned to incorporate a small theater for indoor marionette performances, as well as space for the traveling theater.

Painstakingly restored in 1996, the building retains much of its original 19th-century materials, including the patterned shingles, simple hardware, and hand-rubbed interior paneling. Audiences continue to enjoy marionette performances of classic tales. Talented craftsmen make marionettes for each production, contributing to the archive of historic marionettes every year.

The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre is owned by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, operated by the City Parks Foundation, and is a member of the Historic House Trust.

Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre
Central Park 79th Street and West Drive
Manhattan, New York 10023
(212) 988-9093

Subway: 1 to 79th Street; B or C to 81st Street

Bus: M79 to Central Park West

Hours subject to change, please call for the latest schedule and reservations. Reservations are required for all shows.

Adult $8; Children $5; School groups and non-profit organizations $5.00

Click here for event rental information.


830 Fifth Avenue, The Arsenal, Room 203 New York, NY 10065, PH  212 360-8282