Natural History Museum gets court clearance for $383M expansion

Critics said the museum should be required to go through ULURP
April 22, 2019 11:00AM

A rendering of the Richard Gilder Center for Science (Credit: AMNH) 

A rendering of the Richard Gilder Center for Science (Credit: AMNH)

The effort to stop construction on a new educational center at the American Museum of Natural History has likely come to an end.

The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division has dismissed an appeal to reverse an earlier court ruling that cleared the museum to start work on its $383 million Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation, located within Theodore Roosevelt Park, according to Curbed.

The Community United to Protect Theodore Roosevelt Park filed the legal challenge, arguing that the city approved plans to build the center on parkland based on a misinterpretation of the law and that the museum should have to go through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. But the appeals court was not persuaded by these arguments and sided with the museum.

Work on clearing trees to make way for the project has already started, and museum spokesperson Scott Rohan told Curbed they are eager to move past the legal battle and break ground on the center.

“The Gilder Center will be a major new resource for science education for all New Yorkers and visitors from around the world,” he said, “and we are extremely pleased that we can now turn our attention to proceeding with the project.” [Curbed] – Eddie Small