History 1991-Present main content.

History 1991-Present


1991 • The Mongolian Academy of Sciences invites the Museum to take part in a joint paleontological expedition to the Gobi, the first such expedition to include Western scientists since the Central Asiatic Expedition in the 1920s. These joint expeditions now take place annually.

 • A five-story-high Barosaurus cast is installed in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda, becoming the world’s highest freestanding dinosaur display.

1992 • The Research Library's new facility opens.

 • The Center for Biodiversity and Conservation is established.

 • The Hall of Human Biology and Evolution opens on the first floor.

Allosaurus (Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs)

1996 • Major renovations are completed on the fossil halls on the fourth floor of the Museum. Openings during this period include: the Hall of Primitive Mammals, the Paul and Irma Milstein Hall of Advanced Mammals, the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs, the Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs, the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Orientation Center, and the Hall of Vertebrate Origins.

1997 • The National Center for Science Literacy, Education and Technology is created, in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Museum display of animal species representing biodiversity of the planet
Hall of Biodiversity

1998 • The Hall of Biodiversity opens on the first floor.

1999 •  The David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth on the first floor is the first component of the Rose Center to open. The customized one-of-a-kind Zeiss Star Projector (Mark IX), the most advanced in the world, is installed in the new Hayden Planetarium.The C. V. Starr Natural Science Building opens.

Rose Center for Earth and Space
Rose Center for Earth and Space

2000 • The Frederick Phineas and Sandra Priest Rose Center for Earth and Space opens to the public. The Arthur Ross Terrace opens adjacent to the Rose Center. 

2001 • The Judy and Josh Weston Pavilion opens, adding an entrance to the Museum on Columbus Avenue. The Discovery Room opens on the first floor.

2002 • The Museum opens the renovated Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Theater. The Museum's main auditorium, restored to its late 19th-century design by Josiah Cleaveland Cady, is a venue for scientific lectures, meetings, public programs, and large-format films.

Hall of Ocean Life
Millstein Hall of Ocean Life

2003 • The Museum opens the restored and renovated Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, which features high-definition video projections, interactive computer stations, hands-on models, 14 renovated classic dioramas, and eight new ocean ecosystem displays. The centerpiece of the hall remains the 94-foot model of a blue whale, now resculpted and repainted to more accurately reflect the appearance of a blue whale at sea. The Museum opens the reconceptualized and renovated Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites. New exhibits, rare Moon and Mars rocks, and over 130 scientifically significant meteorites tell the story of the origins of the solar system.

June 2004 • The Museum installs a new Earthquake Monitoring Station in the Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth. The seismograph records and illustrates real-time seismic data for the public via a global network of seismic stations accessible in real-time to the Museum and other similar institutions.

2005 • The Museum marks the 70th Anniversary of the opening of the original Hayden Planetarium.

2006 • The Museum hosts the premiere of the movie A Night at the Museum, based on the Museum and starring Ben Stiller, Mickey Rooney, and Dick Van Dyke. Afterward, the Museum inaugurates Night at the Museum Sleepovers for families and groups with children ages 6 to 13.

Hall of Human Origins
Spitzer Hall of Human Origins

2007 • The Museum opens the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human Origins, which presents comprehensive evidence of human evolution. The new hall explores the most profound mysteries of humankind: who we are, where we came from, and what is in store for the future of the human species.

2009 • The Museum completes a major renovation and restoration project of the landmark 77th Street "castle" facade. The project included the repair and cleaning of masonry along the entire 700-foot-long south side and the complete reconstruction of the 42-foot wide arch of the porte-cochere. A separate but related project included the re-design and restoration of the 77th Street entry court, the new Arthur Ross Plaza.

2012 The restored Theodore Roosevelt Memorial and Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals reopen to the public.