COSI entrance in 2007 (now Imagination Station), with Fifth Third Center at One SeaGate in the distance
|Established||October 10, 2009|
Imagination Station (formerly the Center of Science and Industry (COSI)) is a non-profit, hands-on science museum located on the riverfront in downtown Toledo, Ohio. The facility has over 300 exhibits for "children of all ages."
After tax levies failed in 2006 and 2007, COSI closed its doors to the public on the last day of 2007 due to lack of funding. In 2008, voters approved an operating levy to reopen the facility using The Toledo Science Center as its interim name. The Imagination Station opened on 10 October 2009.
In 1984, the Portside Festival Marketplace shopping mall opened along the Maumee River, on the site of the former Tiedtke's department store, with the hope of revitalizing downtown Toledo. In 1990, the marketplace closed, leaving a vacant 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) modern facility. A committee, appointed by the mayor, was charged with finding the best use for the site. Researching options, committee members heard repeatedly the need for an educational family attraction. As a result, COSI Columbus was approached regarding the development of a similar institution in Toledo. Together, a structure was developed making COSI Toledo an independent, not-for-profit organization with a board of trustees from Northwest Ohio, while taking advantage of the experience and resources of COSI Columbus.
A major fundraising campaign raised $9.5 million, surpassing the original goal by $4.5 million. Additionally, the state supported the project with $10 million. Another major step in establishing COSI Toledo was the transfer of the facility to COSI at a value of $16 million. On 1 March 1997, COSI opened its doors to the public. The facility attracted an average of 250,000 visitors per year, and over 2.5 million since opening.
In 2005, COSI won a National Award for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the nation’s highest honor for extraordinary public service by a museum or library. The award was presented by Laura Bush at a White House ceremony in January 2006.
On July 28, 2006, COSI Toledo and COSI Columbus legally split so each could focus on their own financial troubles. Later that year, Berrien Springs Public Schools awarded a 2006 Teachers' Choice Awards to COSI for its distance learning program. After voters voted down a second levy in November 2007, COSI Toledo closed due to lack of funding on December 31, 2007.
On November 4, 2008, Lucas County voters approved an operating levy for the science center enabling the facility to reopen in the Fall of 2009.
- Erika Ray (2006). "Hot spots: New attractions take center stage at popular locales". Discover 2006. The Blade. Retrieved 2007-04-16.
COSI has more than 300 exhibits for children of all ages
- Jenni Laidman (2006-11-09). "COSI seeks interim financial solution". The Blade. Retrieved 2007-04-16.
- Welcome to COSI Toledo
- ERICA BLAKE (October 11, 2009). "1,100 flock to opening-day festivities at Toledo science center". Toledo Blade.
- "COSI Toledo". Cultural Facilities Projects. Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission. Archived from the original on 2007-04-06. Retrieved 2007-04-16.
- Big Wheel at COSI Toledo 59, Toledo, Ohio: The Blade (newspaper), 1997-03-01
- "FAQ for COSI Toledo". COSI Toledo. Archived from the original on 2007-06-24. Retrieved 2007-04-10.
- "Three Museums and Three Libraries to Receive Nation’s Highest Honor for Extraordinary Community Service" (Press release). Institute of Museum and Library Services. 2005-11-30. Retrieved 2007-04-16.
- toledoblade.com - Laura Bush lauds COSI Toledo
- Burns, Adrian (2006-11-06). "COSI Columbus splitting with Toledo counterpart".
- Janine Lim. "Teachers' Choice Awards: Best Content Providers". Berrien Springs Public Schools. Retrieved 2007-04-16.