2000 - present
Biographical or Historical Note
- Permanent exhibition. Opened February 19, 2000. Located on Floors 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, Section 18. The Rose Center for Earth
and Space at the American Museum of Natural History was built to replace the original Hayden Planetarium, which after sixty
years of advances in astrophysics, was considered obsolete (1, 1994/96 p. 6-7). The 207,000 square-foot Rose Center consists
of the Hayden Planetarium (giant sphere), which includes the Space Theater and Big Bang Theater; the Harriet and Robert Heilbrunn
Cosmic pathway, which leads out from the Big Bang Theater; the Scales of the Universe, which surrounds the sphere; two new
permanent exhibition halls: the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Hall of the Universe and the David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Hall
of Planet Earth; the one-acre public Arthur Ross Terrace; and six stories of support facilities with classrooms for educational
programs and offices for the Museum's Astrophysics Department (Rose center book p. 64). The Frederick Phineas and Sandra Priest
Rose Center for Earth and Space was a massive undertaking that involved many curators, donors, firms, and consultants. Curators
and scientists who contributed to the creation of the Rose Center were Michael J. Novacek, the Museum's Provost of Science,
Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, James Webster, Chair of the Division of Physical
Sciences, Edmond Mathez, Curator in the Division of Physical Sciences, Michael Shara, Curator in-Charge of Astrophysics, Mordecai-Mark
Mac Low, Assistant Curator of Astrophysics, Charles Liu and Frank Summers, astrophysicists, and James Sweitzer, Director of
Special Projects (1, 2000, p. 6-9). Early major support for the Rose Center was provided by Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose,
Richard Gilder, the Charles Hayden Foundation, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman. David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman, Harriet and Robert
Heilbrunn, and the Arthur Ross Foundation. The new building was designed by architects James Stewart Polshek and Todd Schleimann
of Polshek Partnership. The exhibits were designed by Ralph Applebaum of Applebaum Associates. Landscape designers for the
Arthur Ross Terrace were Kathryn Gustafson and Anderson and Ray (1, 1994/96 p. 6-7; 1, 1996/97 p. 6; 1, 1998/99 p. 9; 1, 2000,
p. 6-9; 2, 2001, p. 75).
In January 1995, the Museum announced plans to replace the Hayden Planetarium with a new building that would not only answer
a need for an update, given the major advances in scientific methods and knowledge of astrophysics and the rapid rate with
which they continued to advance, but the new building would also be adaptable to further advancements in the field. Despite
opposition over the original Hayden Planetarium's place in cultural memory, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
reported favorably on the demolition (3, 1996). The Rose Center was also central in the debate in both the astrophysics community
and the American public over Pluto's demotion from planet to dwarf planet (4, 2009) as the curators chose to group Pluto with
the icy bodies in the Kuiper Belt as opposed to a terrestrial or gas giant planet (5, 20010.
(1) American Museum of Natural History. Annual Reports. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1994/96-2000.
(2) Futter, Ellen V. The Rose Center for Earth and Space: A Museum for the Twenty-First Century. New York: Harry N. Abrams;
New York: American Museum of Natural History, 2001.
(3) Gray, Christopher, "A Remnant of the 1930's, and its Sky, Will Fall," New York Times, August 18, 1996.
(4) Tyson, Neil deGrasse. The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet. New York: W.W. Norton & Company,
(5) Chang, Kenneth, "Pluto's Not a Planet? Only in New York" New York Times, January 22, 2001.
Information for the hall appears in the following Museum publications:
Annual Reports for year 1994-1996 (page 6-7); 1996-1997 (page 6); 1998-1999 (page 1, 9, 18-19, 28, 43, 52); 2000 (page 6-9,
13-15, 28, 48, 50); 2001-2003 (page 5-12, 20, 24, 31, 34, 37, 40-41, 74-75); 2006 (page 3-4, 7, 19, 28-29, 32); 2007-2008
(page 6, 20, 67); 2009 (page 5, 15, 28, 50-51); 2010 (page 3, 5, 15, 40, 60, 64)
Official Guide for year 2001 (page 37-43)
Futter, Ellen V., The Rose Center for Earth and Space: a museum for the Twenty-First Century. New York: Harry N. Abrams; New
York: American Museum of Natural History, 2001.
- New York
AMNH: Floor 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, Section 18.