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American Museum of Natural History files plans for five-story expansion

Construction on the Studio Gang-designed building will wrap in 2020

It’s official: the American Museum of Natural History’s $340 million, Studio Gang-led expansion is moving forward. The Museum filed plans with the Department of Buildings yesterday, Real Estate Weekly first reported.

With that, work will now get underway on the 245,000-square-foot new wing known as the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. This expansion will take place on the western side of the existing museum, and stand five-stories tall when complete.

Some of the standout elements in this new building will be the Butterfly Vivarium, the Invisible Worlds Theater (an immersive way to experience things that aren’t visible to the naked eye), the Interpretive Wall (for exhibits and data visualization), a new insectarium, and several new classrooms.

The proposed expansion won the Landmarks Commission’s approval in October 2016, and the project overall has also garnered a good amount of public support. Architecture firm Davis Brody Bond filed the application on the Museum’s behalf, and construction on the building is set to be complete by 2020.

Correction: An earlier version of this piece reported an inaccurate figure for the square footage of the new Gilder Center; it’s 245,000, not 540,000. Curbed regrets the error.