The American Museum of Natural History in New York City is planning a 218,000-square-foot addition aimed at accommodating the institution's rising attendance and growing role as a scholarly center, reports The New York Times. Richard Gilder, a stockbroker and longtime donor for whom the museum's Ph.D.-granting graduate school is named, has pledged $50-million for the expansion.
Pending approval by various city agencies, the new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation is slated to open in 2019 on what is now a stretch of open space on the museum's sprawling Manhattan grounds. The addition will feature exhibitions on scientific topics as well as laboratory and event spaces. Museum President Ellen V. Futter said it will also improve circulation of visitors, who now number 5 million a year, compared to 3 million in the 1990s.