The Real Deal New York

Museum of Natural History expands plans for $325M makeover

New proposal calls for 8% increase in size

September 09, 2016 12:15PM

Rendering of the proposed Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation entrance at the American Museum of Natural History (credit: Studio Gang Architects )

Rendering of the proposed Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation entrance at the American Museum of Natural History (credit: Studio Gang Architects )

The American Museum of Natural History upped its $325 million expansion plans, and now wants to grow 8 percent bigger than initially proposed.

On Thursday, the museum filed plans to build the so-called Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Plans for the expansion were first announced in 2014  but led to community opposition, so the museum changed them. The six-story addition to the landmarked Upper West Side building will now take up less space in Theodore Roosevelt Park, preserving two old trees. But at the same time, it will be slightly bigger overall than proposed in 2014, now spanning 235,000 square feet.

“The community has played a tremendous and important and useful role in the design,” the museum’s vice president of government affairs Dan Slippen told the Journal. “We will be taking down three existing buildings, and that wasn’t part of the original plan.”

Sig Gissler of advocacy group Defenders of Teddy Roosevelt Park said he is pleases with the changes to the initial proposal, but is still unhappy about the expansion’s size, calling it a “monumental structure.”

The museum will hold a public information session on the expansion on September 13. [WSJ]Konrad Putzier

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