Columbus, OH– COSI and the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), in collaboration with the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC), announced today a first-of-its-kind partnership that will establish two significant new exhibition areas at COSI, the American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery and the American Museum of Natural History Exhibition Gallery. The Dinosaur Gallery will include installations of AMNH’s renowned dinosaur exhibits, including interactive experiences and loaned specimens. The Exhibition Gallery will host premier rotating AMNH curated special exhibitions.
The galleries will occupy a total of 22,000 s.f. on the main concourse of COSI’s first floor, with the Dinosaur Gallery expected to debut in late Fall 2017 and the first featured special exhibition to open in February 2018. Presiding over the Dinosaur Gallery will be a life-sized model of the massive Tyrannosaurus rex fossil that captivates the imagination of people of all ages.
With an eye on growing COSI’s audience to include the entire region, COSI, civic and community leaders began discussing creative ways to deepen programming and exhibitions. The strength of the American Museum of Natural History’s exhibitions and educational offerings made it the ideal choice for a partnership. COSI worked with CDDC officials, who have been leading the development and execution of the Scioto Peninsula Master Plan, to explore the potential partnership with AMNH, making multiple trips to the Museum and hosting Museum officials in Columbus.
“This is a moment of great pride for Columbus,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “COSI is a beloved Columbus institution and one of the most respected science centers in the nation, drawing more than 660,000 visitors a year to the Scioto Peninsula. This partnership is expected to dramatically boost visitor frequency while also drawing visitors from farther away. We can’t wait to welcome dinosaurs to our downtown as well as the increased economic activity that accompanies these prehistoric creatures.”
The AMNH partnership was made possible due to a $5 million investment from the State of Ohio and a $2 million gift from Abigail and Leslie Wexner.
“The Scioto Peninsula is an untapped area of civic opportunity for central Ohio,” said Leslie Wexner. “COSI has been an important draw on the peninsula and the partnership with the American Museum of Natural History will solidify its role as an anchor to all that is yet to come, including the Veteran’s Memorial. Abigail and I are so pleased to be supportive of both COSI and the Veteran’s Memorial and the educational impact both will have on people of all ages.”
COSI Board Chair Mike Louge thanked the State of Ohio, the City of Columbus, CDDC and AMNH for partnering and investing resources in COSI, saying, “We appreciate the efforts of the leaders in our community who helped bring in these exhibitions from the internationally renowned American Museum of Natural History. The addition of these unique exhibition areas will allow us to add the ever-popular element of natural history to COSI’s visitor experience, expand our audience, and engage more people in science while enhancing the destination experience of the Scioto Mile and our surrounding Franklinton neighborhood.”
As one of the premier cultural attractions in the world, the American Museum of Natural History draws attendance of approximately 5 million to its New York City campus each year. AMNH has established research, exhibition and educational collaborations around the world, but this is the most extensive partnership of this kind, linking as it does a world-class natural history museum and a nationally recognized science center.
“AMNH and COSI share a deep commitment to enhancing the public understanding of science, and today, broad access to science and to science education is more important than ever,” said Ellen V. Futter, President of the American Museum of Natural History. “Museums and science centers have a vital role to play in this arena, and this exceptional collaboration between the Museum and COSI will provide a unique visitor experience and learning opportunity. We are very pleased to bring these exciting new exhibitions and educational resources about current science and discoveries in paleontology to the Columbus area.”
CDDC will be managing the design and construction of the new AMNH galleries. Concurrently, CDDC is developing an 8-acre park, with an underground garage below it, on the ground just west of COSI. The new park is designed to serve as a catalyst for commercial and residential activity on the 56-acre Scioto Peninsula as its planned revitalization progresses.
“This project brings together world class institutions like AMNH and COSI to produce an unparalleled experience for our citizens,” said Guy Worley, President/CEO of CDDC. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a cultural peninsula anchored by a mixed-use development. With the revitalization of the Scioto Riverfront last year, the Peninsula is primed to be the next destination neighborhood in Downtown Columbus.”
COSI, the Center of Science and Industry located in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the most respected science centers in the nation — engaging more than 33 million people through both on-site and off-site programs since 1964. Parents magazine named COSI the #1 Science Center in the Country. COSI’s programs and world-class experiences inspire an interest in science encouraging people to want to learn more about their world.
About the American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History in New York City, founded in 1869, is one of the world’s preeminent scientific, educational and cultural institutions. The Museum encompasses 45 permanent exhibit halls, including the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Hayden Planetarium, as well as galleries for temporary exhibitions. It is home to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, New York State’s official memorial to its 33rd governor and the nation’s 26th president, and a tribute to Roosevelt’s enduring legacy of conservation. The Museum’s five active research divisions and three cross-disciplinary centers support approximately 200 scientists, whose work draws on a world-class permanent collection of more than 33 million specimens and artifacts, as well as specialized collections for frozen tissue and genomic and astrophysical data, and one of the largest natural history libraries in the world. Through its Richard Gilder Graduate School, it is the only American museum authorized to grant the Ph.D. degree and the Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Annual attendance has grown to approximately 5 million, and the Museum’s exhibitions and Space Shows can be seen in venues on five continents. The Museum’s website and collection of apps for mobile devices extend its collections, exhibitions, and education programs to millions more beyond its walls.
About Columbus Downtown Development Corporation
Created in 2002, CDDC is a private, non-profit development corporation formed to lead city-changing projects in the heart of Ohio’s capital city. CDDC led redevelopment efforts have achieved national recognition and include the landmark Lazarus Building, The Scioto Mile, Columbus Commons and Scioto Greenways.