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Eyes on the City: Two Events for AMNH/Teddy Roosevelt Park

MAS continues to follow the issue of the American Museum of Natural History’s expansion, which is the subject of two events this week. On Tuesday, October 10, from 10:00am-3:00pm, Defenders of Teddy Roosevelt Park will host a “Breath-In to Save Our Park” Organizers invite you to, “Bring your kids, your signs, your voices . . . and your lungs! Let the American Museum of Natural History know how important Teddy Roosevelt Park is to our community. Parkland and stately shade trees are too important to lose to the museum’s proposed expansion.” Meet at the park entrance at 79th Street off Columbus Avenue. View the flyer for more information. On Thursday, November 12, at 6:30pm, the Museum will host an informational meeting on the project On November 5, the AMNH released drawings and renderings of the proposed expansion. The Museum will host an information session on these new details and the overall proposal for interested members of the community. Enter 77th Street entrance. As we wrote in our October 9 statement: MAS urges decision-makers at AMNH to:
  • Demonstrate the rationale for expansion: The Museum has presented a programmatic need for an expansion. But will the project produce any additional benefits to the community? Are the benefits worth the potential diminishment of other public amenities, including reduced green space and tree cover?

  • Explore alternative proposals: Has the Museum explored alternatives to the current expansion? This might include creative ways of using the existing museum space, or a possible satellite location. An outer borough location would have the added benefit of acting as a social and economic neighborhood catalyst. Are there potential institutional partnerships that would provide AMNH with the added capacity it requires?

  • Ensure an open community process: The Museum should continue to be forthcoming and open about the details of the process going forward. They should actively engage with stakeholders from the nearby neighborhood to solicit their input on ways to meet the needs of both the Museum and the local community.