A protest against the construction of the Richard Gilder Center took place at Theodore Roosevelt Park this weekend. The proposed construction by the AMNH would expand into part of the park, making the green space smaller and less usable, opponents say.
Celebrity Upper West Sider and tennis legend Billie Jean King took part in the protest.
The Community United to Protect Theodore Roosevelt Park has been leading the fight against the museum’s expansion, but many Upper West Siders remain in favor of the AMNH’s expansion plans.
Here is a simplified list of arguments AGAINST the 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 is a simplified list of arguments FOR the 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
The new building, if the judge allows the AMNH to move forward, is expected to be complete by 2021.