Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation

The Kenneth C. Griffin Exploration Atrium, a soaring, four-story-high civic space that serves as a gateway into the Gilder Center, flowing through the Museum to create a connection from Central Park West to Columbus Avenue and opening onto Theodore Roosevelt Park. Breaking down traditional boundaries between research, education, and exhibition, the space will offer an experience unlike that at any other natural history museum in the world. From the moment visitors enter, they will be transported on a journey of discovery.
Neoscape, Inc./© AMNH
The Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation at the American Museum of Natural History will invite all visitors to share in the excitement of discovery, beginning on February 17, 2023.

The spectacular new facility will add exhibition galleries, state-of-the-art classrooms, an immersive theater, and a redesigned library, revealing more of the Museum’s scientific collections and linking 10 Museum buildings to improve visitor flow throughout the campus.

Inside the Gilder Center

The Kenneth C. Griffin Exploration Atrium, a soaring, four-story civic space, will serve as the gateway to the Gilder Center and open into Theodore Roosevelt Park. 


The Susan and Peter J. Solomon Family Insectarium, a 5,000-square-foot gallery, will introduce visitors to the extraordinary variety of Earth’s most diverse and abundant animal groups through large-scale models, interactive exhibits, and live insects, with special sections on insects of New York City and human health.

Rendering depicts visitors viewing larger-than-life insect models and live specimens. A 2017 rendering of the Insectarium on the first floor of the Gilder Center, a place for family and general learning as well as for structured school visits by groups from every grade. 
Courtesy of Ralph Appelbaum Associates

The Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium will be a new, 3,000-square-foot year-round living exhibit featuring free-flying butterflies in a variety of “environments” and opportunities to use interactive microscopes, discover the butterfly life cycle, and interact with butterfly experts.

Rendering of visitors inside an airy, expansive space with large bright ceiling lamps, lush greenery, and butterflies. The Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation will include the new year-round, 3,000-square-foot Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium, a permanent exhibition where visitors can mingle with free-flying butterflies.
Neoscape, Inc./© AMNH

Collections Core

A rendering shows visitors viewing floor-to-ceiling arrays of specimens, with a view onto a bright atrium and other levels of the new Gilder Center.
This rendering shows one level of the Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Collections Core, which will include three floors of exhibitions with floor-to-ceiling arrays will represent every area of the Museum’s collections in vertebrate and invertebrate biology, geology, anthropology, and archaeology.
Neoscape Inc./© AMNH

The Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Collections Core, which will house approximately 4 million specimens from the Museum’s scientific collections, will feature three stories of visible research and collections spaces providing glimpses into the Museum's collections as well as an exhibition of floor-to-ceiling arrays offering insight into evidence and process of scientific discovery in various types of collections, from fossils to insects, with the first and second floors supported by the Macaulay Family Foundation. 

Education Zones

Rendering shows an open space with students and teachers surrounded by desktop and wall-mounted digital screens displaying bright visuals.
A rendering of one of the next-generation classrooms in the Middle School Zone of the Gilder Center, serving grades 5 through 8.
Courtesy of Ralph Appelbaum Associates

State-of-the-art education spaces in the Gilder Center will include new classrooms within the Josh and Judy Weston Middle School Learning Zone, the High School Learning Zone, and the College and Career Readiness Zone, with adjacent renovated spaces in the existing Museum complex creating the Michael Vlock Family Learning Zone and a Teacher Learning Zone.

Research Library and Learning Center

Rendering of the library depicts a sweeping design, with visitors standing next to a book-lined wall, or sitting in chairs to read their selections.
The David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Research Library and Learning Center at the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation will be a dynamic hub that connects visitors with the Museum Library’s many unparalleled resources and helps patrons navigate flows of information, both print and digital.
Neoscape, Inc./© AMNH

The Museum’s Library is being redesigned and re-situated for easier access by the public, with a new scholars’ reading room, exhibition alcove, group study room, and adult learning zone in the new David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Research Library and Learning Center.

Invisible Worlds Theater

A new, immersive theater in the Gilder Center will reveal new frontiers of scientific research through scientific visualizations, letting visitors experience phenomena from across the natural world made accessible—and visible—through new imaging technologies.


The American Museum of Natural History gratefully acknowledges Richard Gilder and the Gilder Foundation, Inc., whose leadership support has made the construction of the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation possible. 

The Gilder Center is also made possible thanks to the generous support of the City of New York, the Council of the City of New York, the Manhattan Borough President, the State of New York, the New York State Assembly, and the New York State Senate. 

Critical founding support has been provided by David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman; Kenneth C. Griffin; the Davis Family; the Bezos Family Foundation; Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.; the Susan and Peter J. Solomon Family; Judy and Josh Weston; the Macaulay Family Foundation; Katheryn C. Patterson and Thomas L. Kempner, Jr.; New York Life Foundation; the Seedlings Foundation in honor of Michael Vlock; the Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Foundation; Valerie and Jeffrey Peltier; Morgan Stanley; The Marc Haas Foundation in honor of Robert H. Haines; the Hearst Foundations; David Yurman; the Charina Endowment Fund; Nancy B. and Hart Fessenden; Keryn and Ted Mathas; the Estate of Margaret D. Bishop; the Henry Peterson Foundation; and an anonymous donor.