A judge recently ruled to allow the AMNH to expand its footprint with the construction of the Richard Gilder Center. But as of December 18th , the attorney for the Community United to Protect Theodore Roosevelt Park, Michael Hiller, won a “Stay Pending Appeal”. This will prevent the AMNH from doing any work that would adversely impact green space until the groups appeal is heard.
The museum’s opponents have claimed the expansion would be bad and potentially dangerous for the community. They also claimed that that the museum’s lease, originally signed in 1877, gives them no right to expand into the park.
Here is a simplified list of arguments this organization has made against the AMNH expansion:
- reduced green space
- environmental hazards from building materials
- our tax dollars supporting a private institution
- big crowds, food vendors and garbage
- noise and pollution from construction
And here are some of the arguments the AMNH made supporting their expansion:
- more resources and learning opportunities
- more much-needed public education about science
- any trees that are removed will be replaced
- most of the project will exist in the area already occupied by the AMNH, and three existing buildings will be removed to minimize the footprint
If and when it is actually built, the Gilder Center would be a five-story, approximately 190,000 square foot addition to the museum. The museum has hired Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects to design the project. The exhibition spaces will be designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, and the landscape architecture design will be lead by Reed Hilderbrand.
The new building, if the judge allows the AMNH to move forward, is expected to be complete by 2021.