The Bell Museum is moving to downtown St. Paul
After what feels like years of gentrification taking place on the east side of West 7th Street, namely the OXBO debacle, the city is starting to unearth its historical side. As of Jan. 1, 2017, construction will begin for the big move of the University of Minnesota Bell Museum of Natural History, from Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul.
Now, through Dec. 31, the hours of operation will be extended to give guests ample time to soak up the charm of the 1940s-style building where the museum has resided for the last 75 years. Then, the Bell Museum will be closed for a year during the move, with the grand opening of the St. Paul location slated for summer 2018.
The Big Move
The reason for the move? Expansion isn’t enough for all of the added features you can expect from the new location, says the Bell Museum.
After the University of Minnesota teamed up with the Minnesota Planetarium Society, members decided to dream big, investing in a $64.2 million plan to develop highly interactive science labs, a 120-seat planetarium, and much more.
Learn about the origins of the universe, as we know it, with the latest high-tech audiovisual equipment theater has to offer. The journey will conclude with a closer look at the flora and fauna currently inhabiting Minnesota, while the narrator promises to possibly posit our place in the great scheme of things.
One of the crowing features of the Minneapolis Bell Museum are the 3D dioramas depicting surreal scenes of wildlife the state over. Many of Francis Lee Jacques’ stunning dioramas will make the move, says the MinnPost, but most of the museum will consist of brand new exhibits, including digital tours depicting the Earth’s changing climates, replete with animal migration maps, and the anatomy of the human body will be on display as well.
The U of M plans to build outdoor learning environments, such as a rooftop telescope observation station and sustainable water management area for eternal students wanting to extend their research beyond the bounds of the museum itself.
Also, two new children’s programs will take center stage, implementing a day camp program featuring hands-on activities and field trips.
Check out the construction cam for hourly updates.
(Photo credit goes to the Bell Museum)