Long-Awaited Miami Science Museum Comes to Life

May 8, 2017

By NICK MADIGAN

For decades, South Florida schoolchildren and adults fascinated by far-off galaxies, earthly ecosystems, the properties of light and sound and other wonders of science had only a quaint, antiquated museum here in which to explore their interests.

Now, with the long-delayed opening of a vast new science museum downtown set for Monday, visitors will be able to stand underneath a suspended, 500,000-gallon aquarium tank and gaze at hammerhead and tiger sharks, mahi mahi, devil rays and other creatures through a 60,000-pound oculus, a lens that will give the impression of seeing the fish from the bottom of a huge cocktail glass. And that’s just one of many attractions and exhibits.

Officials at the $305 million Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science promise that it will be a vivid expression of modern scientific inquiry and exposition. Its opening follows a series of setbacks and lawsuits and a scramble to finish the 250,000-square-foot structure. At one point, the project ran precariously short of money.

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One comment on “Long-Awaited Miami Science Museum Comes to Life”

  • @OP – link – To cover its expected annual operating costs of $20.7 million, including paying a staff of 150 people, the Frost museum must attract 725,000 visitors a year, an estimate that officials hope to exceed, said Paola Villanueva, a museum spokeswoman.

    Phillip and Patricia Frost, whose wealth comes mainly from pharmaceuticals and whose names already adorn buildings at the University of Miami and Florida International University, initially gave $35 million toward the science museum and converted a loan guarantee for $10 million to a gift in 2015 when the project’s finances went awry.

    “I never thought it would go off the road, but of course we were concerned because they had got to the point where the path forward was not clear,” Mr. Frost said in a telephone interview. “The county came to the rescue and we were able to pitch in a bit.”

    Over the course of the museum’s design and construction, Miami-Dade County provided $205 million — some of it as part of a general obligation bond — to enable the project’s completion. Private donations and sponsorships provided most of the rest. Museum officials hope to attract an additional $50 million from naming rights to parts of the facility, which was designed by the British architect Nicholas Grimshaw.

    This looks like a much needed educational resource in an area where it is desperately needed, so hopefully it will remain viable and succeed!

    Like many worthwhile things in the USA, it has depended on charity to get going, although it has had some help from public funds!

    Perhaps if less money was wasted of fake arks and mega-churches, more of these worthwhile education services could be provided!



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