American Museum of Natural History Proposal for Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation
The American Museum of Natural History is seeking approvals and funding for a proposed new building, the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. The Museum is located in Theodore Roosevelt Park, which is City-owned parkland under the jurisdiction of NYC Parks. The Gilder Center would be a five-story, approximately 203,000 gsf addition on the west side of the Museum complex facing Columbus Avenue at 79th Street. The proposed project would also include approximately 42,000 gsf of renovations to existing space (for a total of 245,000 gsf of new construction and renovation) and alterations to an approximately 75,000 square-foot adjacent area of Theodore Roosevelt Park.
The Gilder Center project would integrate the Museum’s scientific research, collections, and exhibitions with its educational programming, provide new innovative exhibition space, improve circulation, and upgrade and revitalize the Museum’s facilities to address critical needs. It would improve the connectivity, spatial logic, and function of the Museum’s interior spaces and service areas. The Gilder Center would largely be set within the area currently occupied by the Museum; three existing buildings within the Museum complex would be removed to minimize the footprint on land that is now open space in Theodore Roosevelt Park, to about 11,600 square feet at grade (approximately a quarter acre).
On March 2, 2016, NYC Parks, as lead agency for the CEQR environmental review for the proposed project, issued a Positive Declaration for the project and directed that a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be prepared. At the same time, a Draft Scope of Work for an EIS was issued for public comment. To receive public comments, a Public Scoping Meeting was held Wednesday, April 6, 2016 and written comments were accepted by NYC Parks through Wednesday, April 20, 2016. The Final Scope of Work for this project’s EIS, including a summary of comments received and responses to those comments, was issued on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.
On May 18, 2017, NYC Parks issued a Draft EIS for this project. A public hearing on the Draft EIS will be held on June 15, 2017, at 6:00 PM, at the LeFrak Theater at the American Museum of Natural History. Enter at the Weston Pavilion entrance at Columbus Avenue and West 79th Street, New York, New York 10024.
Oral and written comments on the Draft EIS can be submitted at the public hearing. Written comments will also be accepted by NYC Parks at the below address, fax number, or email address until 5:00 PM on June 26, 2017.
Contact person: Owen Wells, Director of Environmental Review
New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
The Arsenal, Central Park
830 Fifth Avenue, Room 401
New York, New York 10065
Telephone: (212) 360-3492
Fax: (212) 360-3453
The project documents can be obtained at the links below and also are available for public inspection at the following locations: NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, The Arsenal in Central Park; and St. Agnes Library, 444 Amsterdam Avenue.
- Environmental Assessment Statement
- Positive Declaration
- Scoping Notice
- Draft Scope of Work
- Final Scope of Work
- Notice of Completion
- Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Project Description
- Land Use
- Open Space
- Historic and Cultural Resources
- Urban Design and Visual Resources
- Natural Resources
- Hazardous Materials
- Air Quality
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Public Health
- Neighborhood Character
- Project Alternatives
- Growth Inducing Aspects of the Proposed Project
- Irreversible and Irretrievable Commitment of Resources
- Unavoidable Adverse Impacts