Miami Science Museum
|Miami Science Museum|
|Location||3280 South Miami Avenue
Miami, Florida, United States
|Public transit access||Metrorail access at Vizcaya Station|
|Website||Miami Science Museum|
The Miami Science Museum is an attraction located in the city of Miami, Florida USA. The museum itself also contains the Space-Transit Planetarium, Weintraub Observatory and a wildlife center. The museum is currently working to transplant the museum from its current location to Park West at Bicentennial Park in Downtown Miami along with the Miami Art Museum. The museum broke ground for the new museum in February 2012, the grand opening is expected in 2015.
The Museum first started as "The Junior Museum of Miami" and was a private non-profit organization established in 1949. It was located inside a house on the corner of Biscayne Boulevard and 26th Street. The Museum grew so rapidly that in 1952 it relocated to the Miami Women's Club building on Bayshore Drive. When it arrived at the new location it was renamed "Museum of Science and Natural History".
In 1953, the Guild of the Museum of Science was formed adding the efforts of volunteer assistance to the staff, operation of the Museum Store, as well as tours and outreach programs.
The museum began to outgrow its new home again and a special committee headed by Claire Weintraub recommended that Miami should establish a major independent science museum which could service citizens of all ages. By 1960, the first building of the community's new science museum opened its doors. The facility was located on 3 acres (12,000 m2) of the historic Vizcaya complex, and was built and furnished rent-free by the County.
Late 1966 saw the construction of a Space Transit Planetarium, which soon became the leading facility of its kind in the world. Its activities now include international television programming (see Star Gazer).
In 1989, the Museum's lease agreement with the county for the Vizcaya site was extended for 99 years.
The yearly operating budget has grown to 2.5 million dollars, and the property currently totaling only 48,000 square feet (4,500 m2).
The museum currently showcases these exhibits:
- The Sea Lab
- Water, Wind, and Weather: Miami in a Changing Climate
- Room for Debate
- Heart Smart
- Energy Tracker
- Fuels of the Future
- Moving Things
- The Wildlife Center
In March 2011, Miamian Phillip Frost donated $35 million to the construction of the new Miami Science Museum in Downtown Miami. Frost's donation to the museum, is one of the largest donations to Miami's cultural institutions. The museum broke ground in early 2012, and is planned to be completed by the end of 2015. The Miami Art Museum is also building a new building in Bicentennial Park with completion expected in 2013.
The planetarium was opened on November 4, 1966. It was home to Jack Horkheimer's Star Gazer, the world’s first and only weekly television series on naked-eye astronomy. The projection dome room is 65' in diameter and has seating for over 230. It utilizes a Spitz STP (Space Transit Planetarium) star projector.