Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC), in partnership with COSI, has entered into a first-of-its-kind agreement with the American Museum of Natural History that will establish two significant new exhibition areas at COSI: the American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery and the American Museum of Natural History Exhibition Gallery.
On September 16, 2016, COSI hosted a community announcement to celebrate this significant addition to COSI’s programming that is expected to broaden the center’s trade area and increase frequency of local visitors.
The galleries will occupy a total of 22,000 square feet on the main concourse of COSI’s first floor, with the Dinosaur Gallery expected to debut in late fall 2017, and the first featured special exhibition to open in February 2018. Presiding over the Dinosaur Gallery will be a life-sized model of the massive Tyrannosaurus rex fossil that captivates the imagination of people of all ages.
With an eye on growing COSI’s audience to include the entire region, COSI, and civic and community leaders began discussing creative ways to deepen programming and exhibitions. The strength of the American Museum of Natural History’s exhibitions and educational offerings made it the ideal choice for a partnership.
CDDC has been leading the development and execution of the Scioto Peninsula Master Plan. “This project brings together world class institutions like AMNH and COSI to produce an unparalleled experience for our citizens,” said Guy Worley, President/CEO of CDDC. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a cultural peninsula anchored by a mixed-use development. With the revitalization of the Scioto Riverfront last year, the Peninsula is primed to be the next destination neighborhood in Downtown Columbus.”
The AMNH partnership was made possible due to a $5 million investment from the State of Ohio and a $2 million gift from Abigail and Leslie Wexner.
As one of the premier cultural attractions in the world, the American Museum of Natural History draws attendance of approximately 5 million to its New York City campus each year. AMNH has established research, exhibition and educational collaborations around the world, but this is the most extensive partnership of this kind, linking as it does a world-class natural history museum and a nationally recognized science center.
CDDC will be managing the design and construction of the new AMNH galleries. Concurrently, CDDC is developing a park, with an underground garage below it, on the ground just west of COSI. The new park is designed to serve as a catalyst for commercial and residential activity on the 56-acre Scioto Peninsula as its planned revitalization progresses.