On February 5th, the courts issued a decision to allow the construction of the Richard Gilder Center to proceed. This follows a recent setback, in which the attorney for the Community United to Protect Theodore Roosevelt Park, Michael Hiller, won a “Stay Pending Appeal”. This had temporarily prevented the AMNH from doing any work that would adversely impact green space until the groups appeal was heard.
At this point, the opposition group thought they had the conflict in the bag.
But now the American Museum of Natural History seems to have the upper hand.
In a statement issued on February 5th, AMNH reps did indicate there will be some amount of traffic and noise from the upcoming work:
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.
If you’re still not sure where you stand on the AMNH expansion, but want to stand somewhere …
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
Assuming no further setbacks arise, 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 is expected to be complete by 2021.