Today in History: The Guggenheim opens in NYC

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'This Day in History': 10/21/1959 - The Guggenheim Opens

56 years ago today on Oct. 21, 1959, the Guggenheim Museum sparked the curiosity of millions when its abstract design popped up on New York City's elite Fifth Avenue.

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Home to some of the most famous and awe-inspiring art pieces in the world, the Guggenheim sees nearly 2 million visitors each year.

Crowd fills the corner of 89th St. and Fifth Ave. at the ope
Known to most simply as "The Guggenheim," the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has a fascinating history that lies within the iconic abstract exterior.

The museum's founder, Solomon Guggenheim was a wealthy mining tycoon, who started displaying his art collection in an old Manhattan car showroom in the late 1930s.

After his collection outgrew the space, famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright began to design the museum truly unlike any other.

Sadly, neither Guggenheim nor Wright lived to see the museum's opening; but their legacy continues to live on today as the museum is adored by millions.

Never been to the Guggenheim? Take a look through some of our favorite photos of the museum, courtesy of Instagrammers across the world:

See more unbelievable photos of the Guggenheim here:
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Today in History: The Guggenheim opens in NYC
The Guggenheim Museum of Modern and Contempory Art in New York. (Photo by Sherman/Getty Images)
This photo shows the skylight inside the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1958. The museum, located on Fifth Avenue between 88th and 89th streets, is the first building in New York designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. (AP Photo)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Guggenheim Museum By Night At New York In Usa-North America On 1959 (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
This photo shows the interior of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on New York's Fifth Avenue in 1959. The building is designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. (AP Photo)
View of the new Solomon R. Guggenheim museum in New York, March 31, 1959, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The building has caused a great deal of comment. Wrights calls the building an Archeseum, which he says means âa building in which to see the highestâ. (AP Photo)
Almost like a modern painting is this view of the spiraling ramp in the new cylindrical Guggenheim Museum in New York, Oct. 22, 1959. The unseen paintings are suspended by metal arms from the walls of the ramp. A waist high parapet runs along the inside of the ramp. (AP Photo/Jack Kathal)
The spiral ramps of the interior of New York's Guggenheim Museum display works of the "From Picasso to Pollock: Classics of Modern Art" exhibit, Tuesday, July 1, 2003, that opens July 4, 2003. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
The Guggenheim Museum in New York City, glimpsed across the reflective surface of a car roof, 1961. (Photo by Ernst Haas/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 17: Overhead view of the nearly completed Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum created by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. (Photo by Frank Hurley/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 20: Interior of Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. (Photo by John Durpey/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Viewed from above, dozens of video monitors rest of the floor of the Guggenheim Museum in New York Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2000, part of the installation "Modulation in Sync, 2000" by artist Nam June Paik. His exhibit "The Worlds of Nam June Paik", has turned the Guggenheim into "a celebration of the moving image," with various installations, videotapes, films and performances. The show is at the Guggenheim until April 26, 2000. (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)
People walk past the Guggenheim Museum as the top 25 videos in âYouTube Play, A Biennial of Creative Videoâ are projected on the facade of the Museum Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
ìThe Knife Shipî from the 1985 performing "Il Corso del Coltello" (The Course of the Knife), featuring a large scale sculpture of a ship in the form of a Swiss Army Knife, was created by sculptor Claes Oldenburg, writer/curator Coosje van Bruggen and architect Prank O. Gehry, Dec. 17, 1986. The ship, which will be exhibited at New York's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum through mid-February, measures approximately 40 feet in length, 8 feet in height and 11 feet in depth. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)
The 35-foot mobile "The Ghost" is studied by artist Alexander Calder, left, and Guggenheim Museum director Thomas Messer, in the main rotunda of the museum, Nov. 3, 1964, in New York. (AP Photo)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 3: Interior view of the Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright on December 3, 1979 in New York, New York. (Photo by Santi Visalli/Getty Images)
A woman viewing two of 'The Solomon R Guggenheim' series of fibreglass reliefs by British pop artist Richard Hamilton (1922 - 2011) at a preview of the first full retrospective exhibition of Hamilton's work at the Tate Gallery (now Tate Britain), London, 11th March 1970. The works are part of a series of six made from 1965-66 and are based on designs by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. (Photo by Frank Barratt/keystone//Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Guggenheim museum in New York. Photography. 1971. (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images) [Das Guggenheim-Museum in New York. Photographie. 1971.]
(GERMANY OUT) NEW YORK: GUGGENHEIM, 1993. The Guggenheim Museum, Fifth Avenue, New York. Photographed 1993. (Photo by Katharina Hoppe/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
1961: The spiral interior of the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. (Photo by Ernst Haas/Ernst Haas/Getty Images)

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