Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation

Updated spring view of the front façade of the Gilder Center.
Courtesy of Studio Gang Architects, 2018
The Richard 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.

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 Susan and Peter J. Solomon Family Insectarium, a 6,210-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 Butterfly Vivarium will be a new, 3,152-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.

Visitor stroll through an expansive space of sweeping design filled with lush greenery and butterflies. A rendering of the year-round Butterfly Vivarium on the second floor of the Gilder Center.
Courtesy of Ralph Appelbaum Associates

Collections Core

Sweeping architecture creates multiple levels in which visitors can be seen viewing scientific models and collections.
This 2017 rendering shows the multi-story, glass-walled Collections Core, which is a critical resource and a spectacular feature of the Gilder Center, revealing the specimens and artifacts that scientists use to investigate and answer fundamental questions, identify new species, and formulate new research questions and directions. 
Courtesy of Ralph Appelbaum Associates

The Collections Core, which will house approximately 4 million specimens from the Museum’s scientific collections, will feature observation points where, for the first time, visitors will be able to see into areas where students and researchers from all over the world can access scientific specimens.

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 a Middle School Learning Zone and a High School Learning 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

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.

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 Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation 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.