Louisville Science Center
The Louisville Science Center, previously known as the Louisville Museum of Natural History & Science, is Kentucky's largest hands-on science museum. Located in Louisville, Kentucky's "Museum Row" in the West Main District of downtown, the museum operates as a non-profit organization. It was founded in 1871 as a natural history collection, and now more than half a million people visit the museum annually. More students in Kentucky take field trips to the Louisville Science Center than to any other destination.
There are about 550,000 visitors annually. A special hands-on area for children younger than seven was renovated and renamed KidZone in 1998, featuring six educational activity areas.
The building itself is located at 727 West Main Street, and takes up 150,000 sq ft (14,000 m2). This includes a four-story IMAX theater, built in 1988, in which three million people have seen at least one of the 45 different films shown there. The distinctive cast-iron facade limestone building was originally built in 1878 as a dry goods warehouse. The city purchased the building in 1975 and the museum moved into the premises in 1977, subsequently winning several design awards for its preservation of an older building.
On January 11, 2007, Mayor Jerry Abramson announced the city has agreed to purchase property that will enable the Louisville Science Center to expand. The city is acquiring the historic Alexander Building which dates back to 1880 and is adjacent to the current buildings.
The center will begin construction later this year[when?] to create a $1 million Science Education Wing in the building's first floor. The new wing, encompassing more than 5,300 square feet (490 m2), will include four science-workshop labs equipped for "hands-on" student and parent activities. Programs for students and teachers will correspond to the Science Center's core exhibits focusing on physical, natural and life sciences. The five-story Alexander Building totals nearly 37,000 square feet (3,400 m2). On October 3, 2009, The Louisville Science center now has one of the most famous ships in the world's artifacts, the legendary RMS Titanic came to Louisville. The Louisville Science Center's Titanic Exhibit will hold the same amount of tickets that numbered to the same amount of passengers on the Titanic. The tickets will hold who you are who was on board Titanic and what their class is, and those tickets tell you if you survived the Titanic.
- Shafer, Sheldon (2007-01-12). "Science center to expand next door". Courier-Journal.