AMNH Reveals Opening Date for Gilder Center

John Hill
30. March 2022
Visualization: Neoscape, Inc./© AMNH

When details of Jeanne Gang's flowing, sculptural addition to the AMNH were unveiled in November 2015, we reported that "if all goes well" the project would open in 2020, one year after the museum's 150th anniversary. Well, like everything else, the pandemic delayed that ambition, helping to push the opening back a couple of years. Named for Richard Gilder, who contributed $50 million to the $430 million project but died in 2020, never to see it completed, Studio Gang's bold design is of the most anticipated architectural projects underway in New York City.
 

The Kenneth C. Griffin Exploration Atrium (Visualization: Neoscape, Inc./© AMNH)

Monday's announcement of the Gilder Center's winter 2022/2023 opening (no exact day was given) was accompanied by updated renderings, new project details, and photographs of the construction progress. The 230,000-square-foot project is located on the west side of the sprawling AMNH assemblage of buildings, facing Theodore Roosevelt Park, from which it is accessed. Visitors first enter the Kenneth C. Griffin Exploratorium Atrium (above), a four-story "civic space," per the AMNH announcement, that resembles a ravine or some other natural feature formed by wind and rain rather than architectural model making.
 

Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Collections Core (Visualization: Neoscape, Inc./© AMNH)

Project details revealed in Monday's announcement include:

  • The Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Collections Core (above), which puts on display some of the museum's collection across three floors (the Gilder Center will house 4 million specimens, just 12% of the museum's collection);
  • The Susan and Peter J. Solomon Family Insectarium, a gallery dedicated to "the most diverse – and a critically important – group of animals on Earth"; 
  • The Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium, a year-round permanent exhibition where visitors can "mingle with free-flying butterflies";
  • The Invisible Worlds Theater, a 360-degree experience that will give visitors "a breathtakingly beautiful and imaginative yet scientifically rigorous immersion into the networks of life at all scales"; 
  • The Gottesman Research Library and Learning Center (below), a "dynamic hub" with print and digital offerings.
     
The Gottesman Research Library and Learning Center (Visualization: Neoscape, Inc./© AMNH)

Finally, below are a few construction photographs taken this month by Timothy Schenck:

View of the Gilder Center from Columbus Avenue (Photo © Timothy Schenck, courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History)
Building Connection (Photo © Timothy Schenck, courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History)
View Looking West (Photo © Timothy Schenck, courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History)
Construction of the Invisible Worlds Theater (Photo © Timothy Schenck, courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History)

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