AMNH's New Richard Gilder Center For Science, Education, and Innovation Opens Today

Over 70 people pose in front of the Gilder Center in two rows, with adults standing in back holding a long ribbon and children sitting in front. Alvaro Keding/© AMNH

NEW YORK, NY, May 4 – The American Museum of Natural History’s highly anticipated Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation opens today, featuring spectacular architecture and housing new exhibition galleries, next-generation classrooms, and world-class scientific research and collections facilities.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Gilder Center brought together Chair of the Museum’s Board of Trustees Scott Bok; New York City Mayor Eric Adams; Museum President Sean M. Decatur; Museum President Emerita Ellen V. Futter; Comptroller Brad Lander, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal; New York State Senator José M. Serrano; Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal; Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine; Majority Leader of the City Council Keith Powers; Council Member Gale Brewer; Council Member Chi Ossé; New York’s Executive Director of Tourism Ross Levi; Community Board 7 Chair Beverly Donohue; Museum Trustee and Chair of the Building and Grounds Committee Valerie S. Peltier; and architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang. Also joining the celebration were upper elementary classes from the Dual Language School in Manhattan and Jonas Bronck Academy in the Bronx, both schools that participate in the citywide Urban Advantage program; students from the Museum’s Early Adventures Program; and Namshik Yoon, graduate of the Museum’s Master of Arts in Teaching Earth science residency program and Earth science teacher, representing the breadth of the Museum’s educational offerings that will be supported and advanced through the new Gilder Center. As the most comprehensive addition and modernization of educational space at the Museum in nearly a century, the Gilder Center project includes 18 newly built, renovated, or repurposed classrooms.

The 230,000-square-foot Gilder Center project (full details about the Gilder Center are in a news release here, with additional quotes about the new facility here) includes six floors above ground, four of which are open to the public, and one below. It creates 33 connections among 10 Museum buildings to link the entire campus and establishes a new entrance on the Museum’s west side, at Columbus Avenue and 79th Street, in Theodore Roosevelt Park. The new facility embodies the Museum’s mission of science and education in every way—from sparking curiosity and wonder through new exhibits in strikingly designed spaces to providing new facilities where research collections, exhibitions, and learning are situated in close proximity, reinforcing the central role of natural history collections in scientific discovery and providing deeper experiences that connect visitors to the evidence and processes of science through engaging exhibits and programs. 

The Gilder Center includes:

  • the Kenneth C. Griffin Exploration Atrium, a five-story-high civic space that serves as a new gateway into the Museum from Columbus Avenue
  • the Susan and Peter J. Solomon Family Insectarium, located on the first floor, featuring large-scale models, 18 species of live insects, and digital interactive exhibits
  • the five-level Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Collections Core, which offers glimpses into working collections behind engaging displays of floor-to-ceiling exhibits on three levels, including the Macaulay Family Foundation Collection Galleries on the first and second floors
  • the new, year-round Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium, a permanent exhibition on the second floor where visitors can mingle with up to 1,000 free-flying butterflies in a lush, temperature-controlled, habitat
  • Invisible Worlds, an immersive and interactive 360-degree experience on the third floor that explores networks of life on Earth at all scales, including some too small, too fast, or too slow for the human eye to discern
  • an elegant new Reading Room on the fourth floor that welcomes visitors to the David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Research Library and Learning Center, a multi-disciplinary convening and learning center that connects visitors to the Library’s resources like never before
  • Eighteen state-of-the-art classrooms, learning labs, and educational areas, which are located throughout the Gilder Center in the Weston Curiosity Zone on the second floor, the Learning Labs on the third floor, and The Studio on the fourth floor, as well as in adjacent areas within the existing Museum complex, including in the Michael Vlock Family Learning Zone
  • The Restaurant at Gilder, located on the second floor, which will offer table-service dining with a view overlooking the Griffin Atrium

Also in attendance at today’s ribbon-cutting were Deputy Mayor Maria Torres Springer; Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs Laurie Cumbo; Commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation Sue Donoghue; Commissioner of the Department of Transportation Ydanis Rodriguez; Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission Sarah Carroll; former City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer; former Speaker of the City Council Corey Johnson; Manhattan Borough Commissioner, Department of Parks and Recreation Anthony Perez; and Executive Director of the New York City Public Design Commission Sreoshy Banerjea.

Visiting the Gilder Center

Entry to the Gilder Center is available with any admission to the Museum. Ticketed exhibitions include the Invisible Worlds immersive experience and the Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium. Tickets are available now at For more information, please visit

Support for the Gilder Center

The American Museum of Natural History gratefully acknowledges Richard Gilder and the Gilder Foundation, Inc., whose leadership support 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; Allison and Roberto Mignone; 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; Joella and John Lykouretzos; the Yurman Family; the Charina Endowment Fund; Nancy Peretsman and Robert Scully; Shaiza Rizavi and Jonathan Friedland; Nancy B. and Hart Fessenden; Keryn and Ted Mathas; Elysabeth Kleinhans; the Estate of Margaret D. Bishop; the Henry Peterson Foundation; and an anonymous donor.

The Museum gratefully acknowledges Raymond James as the inaugural sponsor of Invisible Worlds.