The Real Deal New York

The Natural History Museum’s $400M expansion has hit another hurdle

The project is on pause while awaiting a ruling from Appellate court
December 20, 2018 11:45AM

Community United to Protect Theodore Roosevelt park Chairman William Raudenbush and a rendering of The Gilder Center (Credit: MNN NYC via YouTube and AMNH) 

The nearly $400 million expansion of the American Museum of Natural History has been put on hold.

Neighborhood group Community United to Protect Theodore Roosevelt Park lost its case last week in state Supreme Court — but the museum can’t move forward with the project while the ruling is being contested at the state’s Appellate Division, Crain’s New York reported.

The group sued to block the expansion in March. The plans for the Gilder Center include a five-story building spanning a 230,000-square-foot space along Columbus Avenue. That would require the museum to take about a quarter-acre of Theodore Roosevelt Park.

William Raudenbush, the group’s chairman, said the museum should have to go through the city’s land-use review process for the green space. Meanwhile, the museum said a 140-year-old lease between it and the city, which owns the land under the museum and the park, provides a legal basis for the expansion.

The court sided with the museum but allowed a temporary restraining order, granted in October. It will stay in effect until the Appellate court decides whether to overturn the decision — which could delay the project by months. [Crain’s] — Meenal Vamburkar