science museums form pact in bid for Bicentennial Park sites
for two Miami museums are joining hands to seek Bicentennial Park
for their new locations.
for Miami Museum of Science and Miami Art Museum signed a joint resolution
stating that the two groups will work together to relocate in the
for both institutions have expressed interest in the past to build
on the waterfront site but had never acted as a team.
resolution also states that both institutions will support the efforts
of the Bicentennial Park Waterfront Renewal Committee led by Miami
City Commissioner Johnny Winton.
committee, meeting since July, wants to plan the park's development
while maintaining sufficient green space, said Russell Etling, president
& CEO of the science museum.
all, four groups have been contenders for space at the park. The Florida
Marlins baseball team and a children's museum, in addition to the
science and art museums have expressed interest.
for the Miami Museum of Science, Mr. Etling said, want to build a
Science Center of the Americas on the city-owned park. The proposed
project is a 365,000-square-foot, $200 million complex for permanent
and temporary exhibitions and educational facilities.
thought this was a very synergistic approach," Mr. Etling said,
refering to the joint resolution with the art museum. "Both of
our institutions have complementary offices."
Miami Museum of Science is located in 53,000-square-feet of space
at 3280 S Miami Ave. In 1999, the museum became an affiliate of the
Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. In November, it presented
its first exhibit there.
Miami Art Museum, which specializes in work of the Western Hemisphere
from the 1940s to the present, is in 30,000 square feet in a fortress-like
building at 101 W Flagler St. Officials there want a new complex with
at least 200,000 square feet of exhibit space and a sculpture garden,
according to Suzanne Delehanty, museum director.
officials have not announced how much money they need for a new facility,
but Ms. Delehanty said the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco spent
$85 million to build a new home.
co-location would really activate downtown Miami," Ms. Delehanty
said cities such as San Francisco, Chicago and St. Louis have "cultural
parks" that bring museums and other cultural facilities together
on public park land.
studies for both museums concluded that the facilities would draw
tourists and residents alike and would add dollars and jobs to the
proposed Science Center of the Americas would have an economic impact
of $1.3 billion during its first 10 years of operations, Mr. Etling
said the study showed, and would employ 1,150 full-time workers.
Miami Art Museum would inject nearly $700 million into the community,
employing close to 600 people within 10 years, Ms. Delehanty said.
institutions are planning fund-raising campaigns.
are embarking on a strategic five-year plan in building up a fund-raising
capacity," Ms. Delehanty said. "We can't pin that down right
Museum of Science once considered using the park with the 15-year-old
Miami Children's Museum, which is homeless without a site and operates
from an office at the Miami Arena.
Miami Children's Museum's timeframe has them pursuing a site more
quickly than ours," Mr. Etling said. "They are independently
of Miami Commissioner Arthur Teele said he thinks the park is an appropriate
space for a museum, especially the children's one, which only needs
about an acre for a new home.
a matter of policy I am not at all troubled by working with the museums
to ensure they have an adequate area for their facility," Mr.
Teele said. "I don't object to that being Bicentennial Park."
owner John Henry also wants about 15 acres of the park to build a
stadium though the mutual interests may be a conflict. Frank Nero,
chairman and CEO of the Beacon Council, has said the science museum
and baseball stadium could co-exist at the site.
Miami Museum of Science, (305) 854-4247; Miami Art Museum, (305) 375-3000;
Miami Children's Museum, (305) 373-5439.