Via Elizabeth Daniels
Back in April, the Natural History Museum showed off plans for a huge overhaul of its campus, courtesy of CO Architects and landscape architects Mia Lehrer + Associates, and today, one of the first completed phases, the renovation of the 1913 building and its rotunda was unveiled. Work began five years ago on the building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From a cosmetic/structural point of view, the Beaux-Arts building underwent seismic strengthening, the exterior dome was reinforced with steel, and the stained glass skylight was restored. Additionally, the team re-constructed the gargoyles and created a new six-foot eagle above the east entrance (the original terra cotta eagle was damaged in the 1920 earthquake). Inside, there are new tall display museum cases, and eventually there will be five new exhibition spaces (one is currently open). Additionally, a parking lot north of the building is being converted to a 3 acre park. Check out Brand X's interactive guide to all the changes.
Three year timeline:
· 2011: The Demonstration Center, a new interactive family learning space, opens.
· July 2011: The highly anticipated exhibition Dinosaur Mysteries opens.
· 2011/2012: The North Campus opens, providing new front entrance, pedestrian bridge, car park, and 3.5 acres of green space filled with nature experiences, community science projects, and programming space.
· 2012: The Nature Lab, the inside component to the North Campus, debuts.
· 2012: A new permanent exhibition exploring the natural and cultural history of Los Angeles and Southern California, opens.
· 2013: More transformed gallery spaces are unveiled leading to the celebration of NHM’s centennial. With the North Campus and Nature Lab, the Museum is an inside/outside experience; its visitor amenities (new stores, café, restrooms and elevators) have greatly increased; 12 new galleries are renovated; and five new exhibits are open.