Media Relations Manager
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan Lagiovane (412) 622-3361
November 21, 2002
Hall expansion project receives $15 from state
Pittsburgh ... Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh announced it has received state support for the expansion of historic Dinosaur Hall, part of Carnegie Museum of Natural History. At a 10 a.m. press conference this morning, Gov. Mark Schweiker delivered $15 million of state assistance for the expansion, which will be the museum's most significant project since Andrew Carnegie built Dinosaur Hall 100 years ago.
"This is a momentous day for Pittsburgh's cultural community," said Ellsworth Brown, president of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. "Our region's cultural organizations are full of vitality and potential, and today, Gov. Schweiker—through his vision and generosity—affirmed that vitality and enabled that great potential."
"Carnegie Museum of Natural History already houses one of the world's best collections of dinosaur fossils, many of which have never been seen by the public," said Bill DeWalt, director of Carnegie Museum of Natural History, home of Dinosaur Hall. "Thanks to Gov. Schweiker's belief in our plans to more fully exhibit these treasures in a dynamic new way, Pittsburgh will become the best place in the world to see and learn about dinosaurs."
Carnegie Museum of Natural History plans to use its world-class collections to create a group of dynamic new exhibits called "Dinosaurs in Their World," which for the first time will integrate dinosaurs into the environments of their respective time periods. The museum's Dinosaur Hall currently features 15 dinosaur skeletons in a space originally built for one. Several of those dinosaurs are among the world's most famous and most complete specimens—among them, Diplodocus carnegii, or "Dippy," named after Andrew Carnegie, and Tyrannosaurus rex, or "T. rex," which was the first of its species ever found.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History's expanded dinosaur exhibits, which will occupy nearly three times the space as the current Dinosaur Hall, will depict dinosaurs in their ancient environments. The expansion will include the creation of a dramatic atrium, which will become the physical core of Carnegie Museum of Natural History and reinforce the basic themes of the museum. Dinosaurs currently on display in Dinosaur Hall will be remounted in scientifically accurate, active poses, and a number of new specimens never before exhibited will be added to the new halls.
With funding secured, the project now moves to the architectural design phase. The estimated cost of the expansion is $37 million.
Founded in 1895, Carnegie Museum of Natural History is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. The museum welcomes more than 450,000 visitors a year and reaches another 150,000 through educational outreach programs. It is the third largest repository of dinosaur fossils in the world, and its total collections exceed 21 million objects, specimens, and artifacts, of which 50,000 are on display.
Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, The Andy Warhol Museum, and Carnegie Science Center. In 2001, the museums reached more than 1.67 million people through exhibitions, outreach programs, and special events. For more information about Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, visit www.carnegiemuseums.org. To access press materials and images related to this announcement, visit the Carnegie Museum of Natural History Web site at www.carnegiemuseums.org/cmnh.
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