Central Park West Façade
The Museum is home to New York State's official memorial to its 33rd Governor and the nation's 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt. The two-story Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, which includes the Central Park West entrance, the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda, and the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall, is a tribute to the enduring legacy of the man known as the Conservation President.
Designed in the grand Roman style by John Russell Pope, the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial was built between 1929 and 1935 after the New York State Legislature decided to honor Theodore Roosevelt with a memorial at the Museum of Natural History. The iconic Central Park West façade includes a triumphal arch above a 350-foot-long paved terrace, which was restored and elegantly illuminated for the first time in decades for the re-opening in October 2012.
Flanking the façade, bas-relief sculptures created in 1936 by Edward Field Sanford, Jr., depict 18 animals including lions, panthers, zebra, rhinoceros, moose, grizzly bears, wolves, and deer on a 126-foot-long terrace that also includes a bronze statue of Theodore Roosevelt by James Earle Fraser. At the top of the façade, above the ionic columns, stand the life-size sculptures of four notable American explorers and naturalists: Daniel Boone, John James Audubon, William Clark, and Meriwether Lewis.