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American Museum of Natural History can proceed with expansion, court rules

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The ruling allows the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation to move forward

The exterior of the American Museum of Natural History. The facade is white with columns.
The American Museum of Natural History has been embroiled in lawsuits surrounding its Studio Gang-designed expansion.

The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division has ruled that the American Museum of Natural History can proceed with its Studio Gang-designed addition. On Tuesday, a judge lifted the temporary stay that put a halt to work on the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation.

The museum was prohibited from moving forward with its expansion while the state Supreme Court mulled an appeal by opponents of the project. The judge had previously vacated a temporary restraining order on the property issued in late October but the court agreed to keep it in place until the appellate court made its decision.

The lawsuit revolved around neighborhood group Community United’s belief that the expansion’s encroachment on a quarter acre of Theodore Roosevelt Park, which the museum sits within, will destroy the park and pose a safety threat and environmental hazard to the surrounding community. It also takes issue with the removal of seven of the park’s trees.

The museum issued the following statement to West Side Rag, who first reported on the ruling:

The Museum is extremely pleased that today’s decision to lift the stay will allow all work to proceed. We look forward to the appellate court’s decision and have every expectation that that the NYS Supreme Court’s clear decision on the merits, will be affirmed on appeal. The new Gilder Center for Science, Innovation, and Education will significantly enhance the Museum’s scientific work, education programs, and visitor experience, and we are delighted to be moving forward.